SUPERFLEX is a Danish collective founded in 1993 by Bjørnstjerne Reuter Christiansen (1969), Jakob Fenger (1968) and Rasmus Nielsen (1969). Through their work they respond to contemporary social issues and the related historical, economic and political models giving rise to them. The frequent use of humor in their work serves to highlight the absurdity of these systemic imbalances, whilst allowing the viewer to visualize a new balance within these models.
THE PARLEY, 2016 DIGITAL VIDEO, STEREO SOUND / 12 MINUTES
The work on view is inspired by The Pioneer and the Indian, a painting originally attributed to Fredric Remington, a renowned painter of The North American West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work is recognized for exalting the sublime character of the landscape alongside the myths of the peoples of the North American Frontier. Recently, Remington has become increasingly controversial for having contributed towards creating a stereotypical idea of The Wild West that has permeated policy and popular culture throughout the last Century.
Aware of the longstanding rumors of forgery around this specific painting, SUPERFLEX engaged in forensic examination of the materials and scientifically determined that the painting was indeed a fake. It had been painted in the style of The Parley, a 1903 work by Remington, depicting a peace negotiation on horseback between a Native American and a Pioneer in the western prairie.
Commenting on the complex issues that arise from this founding–questions around identity, migration, forgery and fictional narratives—SUPERFLEX restaged the painting as a video work. With the use of a sophisticated high-speed camera the scene is slowly scanned from various angles, highlighting every detail and extolling the myth of The American West in popular culture.
This work is presented as part of a project series by The Alex Hank Collection that seeks to highlight individual works in dialogue with new audiences.
About the Artist
SUPERFLEX was founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen and Rasmus Nielsen. With a diverse and complex practice, SUPERFLEX challenges the role of the artist in contemporary society and explores the nature of globalization and systems of power. They are known for art works with wit and subversive humor that address serious social and cultural concerns. SUPERFLEX describe their works as tools – thereby suggesting multiple areas of application and use.