The intervention of the Danish artist Benedikte Bjerre completely transforms Lullin + Ferrari‘s gallery spaces. The American custom “Halloween” has arrived. This had already been announced through the invitation card showing a photograph of a pumpkin sitting on a white plastic chair. The title of the exhibition “Trickortreater” clears all doubts. Here strange things are occurring, puzzling the viewer.
A huge block of Styrofoam, covered with melted sugar eggs, showing orange dots on white ground dominates the first room of the gallery. The size of the sculpture is determined by the largest available unity in trade. Behind this glutinous formation, titled “Pophole”, hides a grid work from the series of the “Hotproducts”. These two works stand close to each other and are engaged in a strange dialogue. “Pophole” is opening up many possibilities for interpretation. Initially the title itself surprises: “Pophole” denotes the little doors in the poultry farming through which the chickens are stepping outside. This allows association to the eggs laid by the chicken, here imitated through sweetmeat. The title of the exhibition “Trickortreater” is the slogan shouted by disguised children at Halloween. “Pophole” has landed on a cup into the gallery space. The sculpture was the graduation piece by Benedikte Bjerre at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Copenhagen. The work stands for her selfconcept and for the conclusion of her studies in Copenhagen. On another level the sugar alludes to its harmfulness and the sugar scandal in Denmark uncovered in the Danish press in 2015. The work “Hotproducts III” is an open grid cupboard containing to some extent rather strange objects. Bjerre introduced the series of the “Hotproducts” with a display of lollipops from Los Angeles for her Rundgang presentation at the Städel Kunstschule in Frankfurt in 2015. Two lollipops and their upside-down positioned hanger can be found again in “Hotproducts III”. Alongside several energysaving-bulbs are glowing, emanating a cold light as it can be found in corner shops run mostly by emigrants. In these shops the cold light conveys the feeling of tidiness. The mirrors are also reminiscence of the presentation of goods in shops as they help to catch thieves in the very act. The upside-down Doberman depicted on T-shirts resemble hanging bats and stare into the light bulbs. A few things in the arrangement of “Hotproducts III” are difficult to classify and seem to follow the associative thread of the artist. Other objects can be linked to the convenience store around the corner as for example the glass cleaning product, few groceries and the vitamin tablets. All in all “Hotproducts III” induces an uncanny feeling, from which the viewer can’t withdraw. In contrast the main room of the gallery seems clear and tidied up. Just a prolonged tent rod is clamped into the space and directs the gaze of the beholder on the architecture and through its bend back to the first room. The minimal setting of the aluminum rod stands in stark contrast to the abundance of the first room, but nevertheless conveys to the viewers – as does the first room in a different way – a corporeal experience. This work with the title “A hero never dies” would not be by Benedikte Bjerre, if there wasn’t a disturbing element integrated in form of a mouth guard. The mouth guard in yellowish plastic personalizes the work and impresses a seal of authenticity to the work. The mouth guard holds the tension of the prolonged tent rod. Finally in the back room hangs a photography of a vanity still-life with garlic and scull. This photograph draws a bow to the “Halloween” custom and to the feeling of the uncanny as emanated in the first room. The exhibition by Benedikte Bjerre follows a coherent dramaturgy: her aim is to show the interaction of the single works regarding volume, sculptural quality, architecture and content. The single parts assembly into a strange jigsaw. The exhibition “Trickortreater” reveals the conceptual understanding of the artist and provokes with simple means a nearly corporeal experience for the public.