Mikkel Ørsted: A Frayed Movement

Oct 30 - Nov 27, 2020
Installation Views
Press release

This year Mikkel Ørsted graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen with a series of paintings all with the same title – Monade. The paintings are created against the background of Monadology, partly inspired by Deleuze’s, Leibniz’s and Serres’ ideas on systems, networks and grooves, but also grounded in Ørsteds own philosophical notes and sketches. The Monadology deals with the performance of the Monade as a metaphysical crux, an elementary particle, also called the God particle. This is in itself a unit, in which everything is present, but at the same time a unit which is present in everything. A unit within the unit.


The Frayed Movement exhibition therefore has its roots in further elaboration of the Monadology through philosophical and artistic processes that illustrate movement from one state to another, examining the repetition and pattern as a time-related movement, leaving a cluster of pigments from a physical action on the fibers of the canvas.


Ørsted’s painting practice is a constant examination of the scientific and the spiritual, springing from the traditions of minimalism and expressionism, in a figurative and abstract creation of the image, which contains a scrupulous processing of imagined and created systems. He creates a tactile universe, where the weaving and its repeated systems has a special influence on the mathematical groundwork of the method.The method as well as the motive therefore includes both a singular and transcendental complexity, with pigments applied with airbrush, brush, ruler, pastel crayon and other tools.


At a distance the individual paintings can appear beautiful and intuitive, but on closer inspection a complex network emerges. This network is created from a peculiarly tangled and tortuous system of repetitions and figurative abstractions, made up of the clustering of the pigments. Here a frayed movement between the repetitions of these pigmental clusters occurs, a sort of embodiment of the painting’s inner material essence, which forms a diverse intertwinement in the mind.


Ørsted himself said about A Frayed Movement:

“A thought moves through the soul to the point where impulses are sent to networks in the brain. Electrical tensions entwine the networks, which show up as small irradiated areas. The signal moves through the body in a frayed movement which wraps itself in the flesh as a semblance that wanders through the body and out through the lungs. The vocal chords vibrate and in the mouth the spirit of the semblance is formed, moving from soul to soul. New memories merge together and networks connect in new ways. We are now made up of that voice wrapped in bodily tissue.” (Skudtråde, s. 51)