Morten Plesner: Atoll
An atoll forms a circle of land in the sea with an azure, shallow lagoon in the middle. An active volcano has long ago built up from the sea floor and created an island from its red-hot interior, around which a coral reef has formed. Over time, the volcano has sunk back below the surface of the water, while the coral reef has been left as a circular depiction of a world that has now returned to the sea.
Atoll is the title of Morten Plesner's exhibition at Bricks Gallery, which revolves around geological and biological forces, from the powerful energy discharge in the fire and the volcanic lava to the microscopic algae and corals that accumulate over thousands of years and gather into an isolated, tropical universe in the midst of the turquoise sea.
Atoll is a visual exploration of the island's materiality; of the lapping waves in the blurry waters of the lagoon, of crab shields, white sand and plants, and of the remains of various possible civilizations that might have inhabited the atoll with their rituals, hopes, and dreams.
Plesner works with a staged loss of control, where nature's own processes and the magic of chance become collaborators in the creation of the works. In series of ceramic works he sets a premise, initiates a process and lets nature complete the work. Through natural materials, the found and given; through the power of coincidence and open, intuitive processes, he inscribes his works in a form of primeval culture, where the intrinsic properties of the material control the expression. From here he invites us into a tropical universe, full of volcanic energy and delicate microbes, tidal waves and sandy beaches and in between the remains, of the civilizations that were and those to come.
From Plesner's isolated atoll outside of time and place, he reaches back to what lies before the culture. The natural and the created, the past and the present intermingle in the exhibition space in a way that can be called into question: Are these human-made artifacts or the coincidences of nature we are looking at?
Morten Plesner (b. 1979) is educated as a scenic painter at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in 2004. In 2008-2012, he collaborated with Christian Elovara as the artist duo Ultra Green. As a solo artist, he has exhibited at KØS - Museum of Art in the Public Space, Ringsted Gallery, MOHS Gallery and Gallery Christoffer Egelund, as well as participated in Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling.