Main Building

“Den Skjulte Skat / The Hidden Treasure”

  • Lene Adler-Petersen

“The hidden treasure” is the title of a video from 1982 by Lene Adler-Petersen. The title in more than one way also covers the exhibition of works by Lene Adler-Petersen from 1988-1993 some of which are shown for the first time.

Lene Adler-Petersen (born 1944) has been a significant figure at the experimental art scene since the 1960s and through the 1970s she was a main force among women artists working with feminist issues. Throughout her artistic practice Lene Adler-Petersen has kept a both conceptually and formally stimulating and enigmatic artistic language, by which she with simple materials, structures and textures creates poetical and philosophical cracks in cognition.

A common feature of her simple and extensive works is their unfolding as series of abstract and intimate sensual objects ­- made of pigments, plaster, lead, coal, linnen, wood, ect. – appearing as simple repetitions and progressions, with almost imperceptible variations in tactility and texture, immaterial shadows and reflections. They are minimal but also more than minimal. The colour, the format, the texture and the form appear as purely phenomenological differentiations but with hints of statements that imply unavoidable elements of recognition.

Language plays a central part and titles such as Tongue object, Two areas, XX Take Place are never random but are reaching both into the works and out toward an comprehensive bodily recognition. For instance a title such as Vertical sentence – horisontal sentence draws upon the potential meaning of notions of the sentence – either in a physical understanding, as depositions, placements, juxtapositions, pilings, erections, or in the understanding of awareness as mental activity, to formulate, to define, as it for instance happens precisely in the linguistic sentence, which is a juxtaposition of words phrasing a thought expressed as an independent linguistic unity.

Lene Adler-Petersen operates by the complementary terminology of spreading and mapping (or lay-out) – partly understood as operational principles of construction, partly as principles of cognition.

As it goes in her own simple explanation:”Nature is messed up and we enjoy it. It liberates our thoughts, desires and dreams. The things we adjust. They bind our thoughts. That is why we make them.” (From Things. Some couples).
Birgitte Anderberg, 2008