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The Story Behind That Picture:
"Something not there caught my attention"

By: Thorsten Overgaard [In Danish]

For some months ago when I visited my local art-pusher I saw something that caught my attention. On the floor, in a corner of his office, there was a completely white painting with a note on it, which usually means it's sold – and which also makes it that much more interesting.

  "Transparency White"
  "Transparency White" by AVPD

What caught my attention - well, I actually don't know. But it was white, without being completely empty, and it invited to a closer look. It turned out to be a fashionable white frame with glass in front of it. And inside was some pieces of white something which, when I looked closer, wasn't paper, nor painting, but turned out to be some sort of white or transparent foil. Where the foils crossed each other the tone was different from where there were only one layer, and in some parts there were no foil at all. One moment you see it, if the angle from which you view changes slightly it looks different, and if the light changes, the play in the frame changed again. It's like a picture you can't quire understand even if you try really civilized. And then in fractions of moments the illusion is gone and you ask yourself "am I really looking at some pieces of foil that has been framed?"

And yes, you are in fact.

Obviously I was taken by this, but at the same time provoked over this easy - but yet genius - way of performing art. It was mesmerizing, simple, light and new and entertaining. Is this all that it takes ... and yet I haven't seen it before, and now the idea has been taken, no matter how obvious it may seem.

The price tag had already reached 1,500$, and by "already" is implied that when the price of framed foil hits the level of 1,500$ it's because the artist behind it has a crowd.  Fortunately for me it was sold which saved me from considerations if framed foils was really worth the 1,500$, if I could afford it, and in case I could, where I would hang it so as to accomplish the maximum indignation/admiration.

"Fade to Black"
"Fade to Black" neon-cylinder by AVPD. Every day the light is turned down a bit so that when the expo closes on June 20, 2010 the light will be gone.

Second Act
My work sends me to the re-vitalized "KUNSTEN" Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark last week to photograph the opening of their new exhibition. There were some extraordinary works that attracted the attention of many of the guests: A neon cylinder and a hallway with a mirror. And sort of by accident I noticed that on some of the walls were hanging some of the before mentioned foil works; almost as if the museum had forgotten to take them down before the "big expo" was to open.

"Broken View"
"Broken View" hallway with a mirror, by AVPD, is a hallway that is not as straight as it appears. It takes a turn, but mirrors hide that fact till you enter it.

After having been circling around for some time the obvious became clear for me; that there was a red line in the way these works were though out. Almost too obvious in their simplicity and straightforward choice of materials, and yet with a power to impress the audience and wax enthusiasm.

  Museum guests having fun with the art

The artist behind is AVPD, which is the "brand name" for the artist duo Peter Døssing and Aslak Vibæk, who since 1997 have produced a series of wunderbar art that is being displayed in art museums from Birmingham to Sao Paulo. And in Aalborg, Denmark as well now.

Their art can be seen at "KUNSTEN" Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark till June 20, 2010.

- Thorsten Overgaard





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Danish visual artists Peter Døssing (b. 1974) and Aslak Vibæk (b. 1974) aka "AVPD" inside their neon cylinder at KUNSTEN art museum in Aalborg, Denmark, April 26, 2010, photographed with Leica M9 digital rangefinder camera


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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

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