Mode d'emploi

Jacob Stangerup

Mode d'emploi

11. januar - 2. februar 2008



Jacob Stangerup’s suite of drawings unmistakably deals with eroticism. On one hand technically very sophisticated in  their expression and on the other hand rather rude in their motives, the drawings refer for instance to pornography, to the Baroque and to a canonical work of art such as Matthias Gruenewalds Isenheim Altar.

The drawings are made in pastel and charcoal and appear as a kind of double-drawings. Each background is carried out realistically in pastels but the glance is interrupted by loose and more spontaneous charcoal-drawings crossing and  ‘deconstructing’ the controlled images in a moment of catharsis.

Stangerup’s ‘manuals’ unfold their ideas according to ‘what is at hand’. In theory not far from the traditional childrens’ corner-instructions: what can be done with paper, scissors and glue.

However Stangerup uses quite different materials, certainly more sophisticated and totally unsuitable for minors. This applies for instance to his home made ‘love doll’ – one of the exhibition’s many triptychs which is a kind of narrative and can be regarded as a ‘manual’.

‘Mode d’emploi’ has its own logic's, not tied to realities but pursuing ideas which – with a little imagination – might be realized. The images reflect how thoughts may (trans- and de-)form and make sense within our heads. Stangerup’s images opens for an insight into a male way of thinking, fantasizing about eroticism and in this way also indirectly displaying the more ridiculous aspects of men’s desires.

The pastel-technique gives the vehemence of the images a kind of childish-poetic aura which at first glance subdues their rude humoresque character. However, when the viewer is confronted with the whole range of obscene scenarios the thoughts are carried to the pornographic, but also to the art and literature of the Baroque with its fondness for the grotesque, which balances between the comic and the violent.

The works thus arouse conflicting feelings. They are about amusements with vile undertones – destruction leading to the more ludicrous – a game not at all innocent. The erotic theme in that way unfolds and reveals basic emotions and conditions that – even though they are contradictions – are not very distant from each other.