For the first time in MOGADISHNI, Eamon O’Kane presents three new large-scale oil paintings that explore his fascination with architecture and landscape. These works recombine elements of Modernist masterpieces and set them in idyllic landscapes to give voice to a contemporary utopian ideal. At the same time, O’Kane’s paintings reference the more subversive aspects of literature, cinema and design to demonstrate the impossibility of achieving this ideal.
In Walter Gropius Remix I O’Kane foregrounds the natural world using a tree in autumn colours which almost obscures the Walter Gropius House behind. The natural flowing lines of the foliage intersect and deconstruct the angular lines of the building suggesting the transience of the manmade in relation to the cycles of nature. In Alvar Aalto Remix IV the viewer is presented with a beautiful winter scene of Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Finland. O’Kane however had The Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s seminal film ‘The Shining’ in mind when making the painting. Jack Nicholson’s character in the film thinks that he is going to write his novel in this ivory tower but in the end it’s the architecture that eats him up (in the novel the hotel is built on a native American burial ground). In Philip Johnson Night and Day Remix II the artist merges night and day playing with the reflections on the glass and the changes of light and time. O’Kane recognizes the dichotomy in his own paintings where he seems to offer the possibilities of hope, optimism and redemption with one hand while snatching them away with the other through his surreal, foreboding, and threatening allusions. Philip Johnson’s ‘Glass House’ is like a cage while at the same time being a wonderful piece of architecture.
Also for the first time, MOGADISHNI is happy to display two new paintings by Bjørn Båsen. The subculture, whether contemporary or past, gives the opportunity to remove yourself from the common world and immerge into a society that suits your needs better. The subculture can be everything from the urban underground-life in the mega-cities of today to the secret life of the aristocratic society of old Europe. Båsen`s work introduces the concept of subculture into a personal mythology both visually and thematically. A mythology based on a decadent and deteriorating world, in which he treats the ceremonies and extravaganza of the nobility and bourgeois-society of Old Europe.
The two works presented in the show are the two last works in the series “Taffel Deconstructed”. The paintings are based on the book “De velvillige/The Kindly One” written by the American Jonathan Littell. It deals with the life of a German Officer from the second world war and describes torture- and excecution scenes very detailed. The paintings display two porcelain tableaus where broken objects are decorated with scenes from the novell. Text from the novell lies as a structure under the paint and the objects cast shadows that refer to the text. Båsen wishes to comment on a grotesque and horryfying world but at the same time to tempt the spectator to take a closer look at the paintings which is accomplished with the aesthetics of the paintings.