Prefaced by the warning that Asger Carlsen‘s collection Hester isn’t easy to explain, V1 Gallery nevertheless do a fine job by describing it as “a cross between a David Lynch dream, a Henry Moore sculpture and a Francis Bacon painting, mixed by Dr. Jekyll in Frankenstein’s lab”. And if that doesn’t prepare you for some weirdness, nothing will.
We’ll do our best to shed a bit of light on what’s going on here, but don’t expect miracles. First things first, Hester is named after the New York street on which Carlsen has his studio. Seven years ago, the Danish artist got to thinking about new ways to approach photography and, to boil it down, he has digitally merged a series of nude photographic studies with amorphous sculptural objects to create these extremely unusual hybrids. There are 21 of them in the collection, and the Copenhagen gallery is the first to admit that taking them all in can be a bit unsettling. Both recognisable and alien, Carlsen’s sculptures certainly provoke a reaction – sometimes several completely contradictory reactions at the same time. See what you think in person from 17 January to 15 February.