PETER LAND Gallery Klosterfelde is proud to present the first exhibition with Peter Land. The artist, born 1966 in Denmark, deals mainly with video, where he often stages himself in various appearances and costumes.
"The Lake", 1999, a work consisting of a video tape and 12 photos, features Land dressed like a hunter with a rifle over his shoulder, taking a walk through a forest. His march, which is supported by Beethoven's symphony No. 6, the "Pastoral", and is filmed in a documentary manner, finally leads to a lake, where he gets on a boat. The hunter rows in the middle of
the lake and fixes the boat. He then blasts a hole into the boat – the shot breaks the silence and gives the story line a new direction: while the boat is sinking slowly, the hunter sits stoically until he apparently disappears under the water.
In many of his works, Peter Land is concerned with patterns of behavior in extreme situations and caricatures them in absurd manners; at the same time he investigates the narrative possibilities of the medium and its function on the border between reality and fiction.
Text by Peter Land:
It's by now a common philosophical idea, and at least very much of a feeling to me, that there is no longer any apparent overall ethical meaning behind existence, only a scientific explanation of 'how' but not 'why'. The ethics of existence are no longer being automatically provided from the outside world in the form of an all embracing church or its likes, and the ethical structures that I try to create on my own become invalid or don't apply as my perception of reality changes or is being changed, and has to be rebuilt repeatedly. I guess my work with art is instrumental in my pursuit to establish an ethical meaning behind my own existence. In that way you can say that I need it to preserve myself from dissolving mentally, descending into apathy because of a lack of guidelines on how to interfere with the rest of the world, and I also need it to reflect to myself that, at least, this hasn't happened yet.
Peter Land 1995 (edited by the artist 2000)
Notes on Peter Land 6 February 1994 Before I entered the art academy in Copenhagen, my attitude towards art-making was pretty innocent. I wanted to make paintings. I didn't have a clear idea why, but at the time that didn't prevent me from doing it. Then, after entering the art academy, I was confronted with questions from my teachers as well as the more scholarly part of my fellow students as to what I wanted to say with what I did. What was the purpose? I have to admit that I'd never thought about art in that way before. After that, it went pretty much downhill for Peter Land the 'abstract expressionist painter'. I got more and more confused as to what I wanted to do (and what I wanted to say). In the end I decided that I had to abandon painting all together. In a sense I felt that I had worn out that possibility for myself.
Now the question remained, if I was not supposed to make paintings (which at the time was the only technique I knew), then what should I do. I got so far as to the point of considering quitting art altogether.
This is when I encountered the early video works of Bruce Naumann and Vito Acconci as well as 'Heidi' by Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy. That's about as close as I can get to the time when I decided to try out the video media on my own as one last resort. It had two qualities I was looking for. 1. I liked what I'd seen so far by other people working in the media. 2. It was total virgin territory to me.