The Danish artist cooperative A Kassen (Christian Bretton-Meyer, Morten Steen Hebsgaard, Søren Petersen, Tommy Petersen) have created conceptual works together since forming A Kassen in 2004 during their studies at Copenhagen’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Pouring aluminium in water is the natural sucessor to the Aluminium Puddles and Bronze Pours created since 2014, yet the choice of material and shapes brings new opportunities. The Aluminium Pours are both indoor and outdoor sculpture pieces, elongated and amorphous – leaving the viewer to determine what is seen, how it was made, what it could be or might have been. The first presentation of this series of work takes place in Basel in their first exhibit with the gallery.
Due to the nature of the project, the shapes are determined by the properties of the elements: water, aluminium and their respective temperatures. Molten aluminium disperses when poured into water. Pouring large amounts of molten aluminium into water makes it disperse into small pieces, creating interesting shapes themselves determined haphazardly. A Kassen selects a handful and has them enlarged to be cast into sculptures of polished aluminium. Whether the dispersed result of the original pour or the final enlarged size art work, Aluminium Pours may resemble organs, fetuses, amorphic shapes, anomalies – and each is unique.
Sculpture implies movement and a variety of perspectives. Raised on a pedestal, attached to a wall or placed directly on the floor, the disposition leads to different viewpoints and interpretations. For their première the Aluminium Pours are placed directly on the ground, the opposite of the Bronze Pours, which were initially presented on a pedestal and later placed directly on the ground or outside. Perhaps because the materials are different, the shapes differ markedly from the Bronze Pours and the colors are more neutral. Nevertheless the process and random results trigger the imagination. There is no definitive answer to our personal interpretation, just opinions formed by the viewer.
Form and content are important subjects of discussion and present in the artists’ work, yet the laws of nature have the upper hand in shaping these sculptures. Clear structure and concepts are discernible in the concise presentation of the sculptures on the black floor contrasting with the shiny metallic surface. The expanse of the gallery floor is not entirely used for display, limiting the disposition to a specific area within which each Aluminium Pour has its designated place.
A Kassen has recently received the Danish Arts Foundation three-year working grant and inaugurated their largest bronze sculptures at Kistefos Museet in Norway in August 2016.