SUPERFLEX

A timeline
 With SUPERFLEX Collective's One Two Three Swing! the current resident of the Tate Modern Turbine Hall, it's the perfect time to explore what brought them there. The artists have created and installed over 100 'tools' since their founding in 1993. Their body of work is diverse. Across different mediums, continents and causes the underlying message remains the same; to address social and cultural concerns with both humour and wit. We've compiled a few highlights below:

 

1993

Founded by Bjørnstjerne Reuter Christiansen, Jakob Fenger and Rasmus Nielsen, SUPERFLEX Collective challenges the role of the artist in contemporary society and explores the nature of globalisation and systems of power. The Danish artists describe their works as tools - thereby suggesting multiple areas of application and use.

1995

SUPERFLEX was invited to participate in a painting exhibition, even though they had never shown any prior interest in painting. The artists were fascinated with the International Klein Blue (IKB) and wanted to recreate it. Unfortunately, no one knew how to copy Klein’s method of fixing the pigment to the surface of the painting, so SUPERFLEX went ahead with their own attempt, resulting in the orange painting Superflex On Canvas.

2003

Focusing on the making and sharing of a plate of Social Pudding, SUPERFLEX entered a collaboration with Rirkrit Tiravanija, in Leipzig with workshops and events at the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst. Participants were invited to come to the Pudding Social to exchange and create their own pudding. Rather than explore a fabric of society, Social Pudding was interested in the 'pudding of society', the convergence of social, business, personal and everyday activities. The pudding product was inspired by the pudding produced by the company Dr. Oetker, the main sponsor of the Galerie.

2006

Non Alcoholic Vodka has the taste of vodka but does not contain any alcohol. It was first presented in the exhibition Shiftscale – Sculpture at the Extended Field at the Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, the museum neighbours one of the largest Russian ghettos in the city. Over 25 % of the Estonian population are Russians of which a majority are isolated from the rest of society because of cultural differences. For the opening of the exhibition a non-alcoholic vodka bar was serving the drink. The exhibition was curated by Mika Hannula, Villu Jaanisoo and Hanno Soans. Graphic design was done by Rasmus Koch.

2009

Flooded McDonald's is a short film where a life-size replica of a McDonald's gradually floods with water. Furniture is lifted up, trays of food and drinks start to float around, electrics short circuit and eventually the space is completely submerged. The film avoids exaggerated disaster-film drama and intentionally resists categorisation as a documentary or an art film. It hints at the consumer-driven power, influence and impotence of large multinational companies in the face of climate change, and questions where the ultimate responsibility lies. The short was first exhibited at South London Gallery.

2014

Euphoria Now was initially created as the title poster for a solo exhibition at von Bartha, Basel. The background colors are based on the color scheme for Swiss national banknotes. As of 2016, six paintings have been produced in this ongoing series, each in the color scheme of the notations of different currencies: US Dollars, Euro, Chinese Yuan, Singapore Dollars, Pound Sterling and Austrailian Dollars. Each painting is thus named after the currency they represent ie. Euphoria Now/Euro, Euphoria Now/US Dollars etc. The designs are done in collaboration with Rasmus Koch Studio. 

2017

A new version of  Hospital Equipment was presented for SUPERFLEX's solo show at von Bartha S-Chanf. They worked closely with The Salamieh Hospital, Syria, to identify their needs. SUPERFLEX sourced necessary surgical tools and exhibited them in the gallery space. After the exhibition, the tools are shipped directly to the hospital where they become a functional part of the centre, used by staff and patients. SUPERFLEX describes the work as “an act of exchange”, and is meant to further challenge notions around object-based art collections and ownership.

2017

One Two Three Swing! - the large-scale public space installation for the Tate Modern’s 2017 Hyundai Commission. Through partnership with the Tate Modern’s community development program, One Two Three Swing! is the first Turbine Hall commission to move beyond the gallery walls. Conceived in states of apathy, production, and movement, the work, 'extends as an orange, human-powered line from the Turbine Hall gallery, into the Tate Modern’s south landscape, and around the world'. Visitors to the Turbine Hall are invited to suggest a connection for the orange line, the exhibit engages the public in experiencing the potential of collective movement by swinging together on the count of three.