V1 Gallery proudly presents Manhattan/Paris, Søren Behncke’s third solo exhibition at V1.
It’s a long way from America’s Manhattan to Europe’s Paris. Especially when Paris is a tiny whistle-stop in a remote part of Denmark – a bracket so small that it hardly qualifies as a town. Steel is replaced with straw, hustle and bustle with hillbillies, urban with outback and graffiti with gardens.
Like an artistic Jacques Cousteau, Søren Behncke submerges himself into the lacuna between Manhattan, US, and Paris, Jutland, to explore the frame of public art. Søren’s expedition begins in New York, where he creates and exhibits three cardboard sculptures. Afterwards they traverse the Atlantic Ocean to the small village on the west coast of Denmark. And finally they end up in V1 Gallery in the local metropolis Copenhagen.
Manhattan/Paris turns its periscope towards the human activity in urban space and the urban activity in the human mind. The globetrotting cardboard figures show how surroundings shape a work just as much as the artist does. And the features of street art are established just as much by the street as the work itself.
Paris/Manhattan challenges site specific clichés whether they concern the idea of nationality or life style. Thus Søren likens the idea of H. C. Andersen with the idea of the mandatory country car, majestic lions are related to cocky canines and Manhattan/Paris hover somewhere between local and global.
Alongside the story of art, architecture and the urban human being Manhattan/Paris also turn into a selection of small poetic portraits of the frail and fleeting life. Time takes its toll on the cardboard sculptures that decay and crumble only to survive in the stories about them.
Manhattan/Paris consists of painting, drawing, collage, photo, collage, sculpture and video installations.
Søren Behncke is one of Denmark’s most popular artists. He is mostly famous for his intelligent installations in the public sphere. With his tongue placed firmly in the cheek Søren withers the borders between realism and surrealism, and he directs the viewers’ attention towards everyday surroundings.
Concurrent with Manhattan/Paris at V1 Gallery the contemporary art museum ARoS Aahus Kunstmuseum opens a Søren Behncke retrospective.