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Alison Jacques Gallery: BJÖRN DAHLEM - The Dream Tank - 29 Feb 2008 to 29 Mar 2008

Current Exhibition

29 Feb 2008 to 29 Mar 2008
Hours : tuesday - saturday, 10 - 6
Opening: Thursday 28 February, 6-8pm
Alison Jacques Gallery
United Kingdom
p: +44 (0) 20 7631 4720
f: +44 (0) 20 7631 4750

BJÖRN DAHLEM, THE DREAM TANK (installation view), 2008
Wood, lightbulbs, pickled onions, dimmer-switch
269 x 316 x 363 cms / 105 7/8 x 124 3/8 x 142 7/8 ins
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Sam Salisbury

Artists in this exhibition: BJÖRN DAHLEM

Saturday 1 March, 2pm: Gallery talk by Declan Clarke
(Artist and Curator and co-curator of the group exhibition Clarke and McDevitt Present at Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, April 2005 that featured Björn Dahlem and Ian Kiaer)
Saturday 15 March, 2pm: Gallery talk by George Clark
(Curator, Writer and Artists' Moving Image Development Officer at the Independent Cinema Office)

The awe-inspiring meta-structures of Dahlem’s sculptures, collages, and installations inject a rejuvenat-ing blitz of contemporaneity into the nineteenth-century genre of the Seelenlandschaft (the landscape of the soul), which reflects the hidden depths and the true emotions of the innermost self.
Andreas Schlaegel, writer and critic, 2004

Alison Jacques Gallery is pleased to announce Björn Dahlem’s first solo exhibition in London. The Berlin based artist creates idiosyncratic constructions and architectural installations using found objects and discarded materials such as timber, neon light tubes and Styrofoam. These structures challenge the viewer's expectations of scientific models and question the qualities of theories as they develop within culture.

Dahlem’s subject matter includes Black holes, high velocity stars, wormholes, homunculi, quarks and rays. Dreams, and how they allow us a glimpse of our inner selves, also play an important part in Dahlem’s practice. For his show in London the artist has built The Dream Tank. This wooden cabin-like sculpture, which fuses sci-fi with Bavarian mountain lodge aesthetics, contains a number of monitors playing short looped sequences inspired by key moments in the artist’s recent dreams. In the second gallery space Dahlem will show two new plinth based sculptural assemblages and a selection of drawings.

The artist refers to his determinately low-fi sculptures as ‘soul landscapes’ or ‘mental habitats’. His quest for spiritual truth and enlightenment through an investigation into natural forces continues the project of German Romanticism. Dahlem’s scientific rhetoric is ultimately subject to the same principles of improvisation, free association, and punning as his materials. The wry humour that informs his works is however tempered by a genuine desire for knowledge. Dahlem draws parallels between the unknown territories of space and the soul, and uses his sculptures as vehicles of discovery.

"Space is the place from where we originate and to which we will return. We rise from the dead, abstract material of dark matter, to light up for an instant and face existence. For a transient moment our consciousness breaks into the entirety of being. This is the psyche, the breath of being, the clearing. The revelation of existence lies in the bright night of fear in which we assure ourselves of our own being. Along the edge of this darkness, as on the event horizon of a black hole, existence appears on the clearing of being." Björn Dahlem, 2004

Björn Dahlem was born in 1974 and studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf from 1994 to 2000. He currently lives and works in Berlin. Previous museum exhibitions include Helle Materie, Magazin 4, Kunstverein Bregenz, Austria (2007); The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. (2006); Busan Biennale, Museum of Modern Art, Busan, South Korea (2006); Solaris, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2004); Utopia Planitia, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2004). Group exhibitions include Kommando Friedrich Holderlin Berlin, (curated by André Butzer), Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin (2007); Asterism, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2006); Clarke and McDevitt Present, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin (2005). Gallery exhibitions include Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin; Friedrich Petzel, New York and The Modern Institute, Glasgow. Alison Jacques Gallery and Galerie Guido W. Baudach recently presented Dahlem’s first outdoor sculpture, Coma Wurstel (2007), at the Frieze Art Fair Sculpture Park, 2007. Björn Dahlem will be featured in Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art at the Barbican Art Gallery, 6 March – 18 May 2008.

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