Simon Dybbroe Møller subjects twentieth-century avant-garde to a subjective revision in his work. The installations, collages, films, and sculptures play with works of Minimal At and Concept Art as well as Constructivism, De Stijl or the Bauhaus and transform their conceptual strategies into narrations that are as sentimental as they are analytical. Simon Dybbroe Møller’s works are marked by a fascination with artistic models of the twentieth century which the artist appropriates. He links them with diverse references to art, design, architecture, literature or music and questions them: The associative lines in his works range from Robert Morris, Dan Flavin, Robert Matta-Clark to John Cage, Bonnie Prince Billy and the Danish author Villy Sørensen or to August Strindberg. The works are reflections of an eye-twinkling modernism that oscillate between construed and authentic art history, between original and reproduction and transfer the avant-garde of the past into a weave comprising wondrous coincidences, hidden secrets, and subjective commentaries.
Thus the section of a wall sawed out by Simon Dybbroe Møller rests on a few beer crates in such a way that it results in a minimalist artwork. The sublime, hovering impression of the sculpture Slab (platform), 1962 by Robert Morris becomes the perplexing accidental product Slap (R. Morris), 2004.
The combination of decline on an aesthetic level and reconstruction on a contentual level are recurring motifs in Møller’s works. The installation Sir Norman Reid, 2005 references Robert Morris and shows his randomly flung mirrored cube (Untitled, 1965/71); several cubes have fallen on top of each other and fragmented. As usual in Møller’s works, the essential reference can be found in the title. The Sir Norman Reid named in the title refers to the former trend-setting director of the Tate Gallery in London who was responsible for an exhibition of Robert Morris’s participatory sculptures in 1971. Due to the number of injuries suffered by visitors, the unsteady and insecure parcours had to be closed after a week.
Simon Dybbroe Møller is interested in the failures and peripheries of recent art history and combines individual fragments in order to construe new references or to lay emphasis on forgotten protagonists and bypaths. A side of modernism emerges behind the smooth, clear, and rationalist façade of abstract and conceptual art that also references Sol LeWitt in his Sentences on Conceptual Art: “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists.”
The exhibition in the Kunstverein Hannover will be supplemented by an exhibition simultaneously taking place in the Frankfurt Kunstverein. The entire project is subdivided into numerous chapters, of which six parts (Compendium) will be shown in Hannover and the Appendix in Frankfurt.
The structuring of the chapters and the subdivision in a Compendium and Appendix will also be reflected in the jointly produced catalog. The chapter headings selected by Simon Dybbroe Møller annotate the works gathered together in the respective chapter, providing the theme for a text on each chapter each written by various authors.
The exhibition “Compendium” continues in the exhibition “Appendix” which will be on view during the same time at the Frankfurter Kunstverein (March 27 – May 31, 2009).