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press release - Peter Land

September 1 - October 7 2000
Opening Friday September 1 from 18-20

It is a great pleasure to present an exhibition with video and works on paper by Peter Land

In the main gallery: We present a video projection of Peter Land's The Lake.

"In this video, the spectator is confronted with a man dressed as an outdoorsman; a hunter, gun over his shoulder, who purposefully strides through a forest-like environment. The soundtrack is taken from Beethoven's 6th Symphony also known as the 'Pastoral'.
The object of his excursion is not revealed until he reaches a small boat at the edge of a lake. He rows out into the middle of the lake, fastens the boat to a pole in the water, all this still happening to the tunes of Beethoven. He then proceeds to stand up in the boat and releases the safety hatch on the gun, as if about to shoot ducks. He then aims the gun at the boat and shoots.
Immediately at the sound of the shot the music stops.

The next half of the video shows the hunter sitting in the boat as it slowly sinks until all that's left is the hunter's hat floating on the surface of the lake. The only sound that can be heard is birds chirping in the forest. The video finishes with a series of shots of forest scenarios, insects, the sound of a cuckoo nearby, etc. The forest without any human presence.
As in other of my works, The Lake revolves around the relationship between the individual and the rest of the world. But in The Lake, focus is very much directed at the impossibility of trying to imagine the world without oneself in it. The idea that the world will continue, also after I'm dead: A thought that's always scared me, but which I guess I should find reassuring.

I'm also presenting four drawings, 'Copenhagen 11 December 1999'.By trying to present a cityscape in which the law of gravity has ceased to exist so that houses, people and cars etc. is flying around and ultimately will enter orbit, I'm challenging the spectators (as well as my own) idea of reality.
Another longstanding fascination of mine has been the work of the 'outsider' artist Henry J. Darger. The mere fact that this guy spent a lifetime making two thousand drawings, and writing fifteen volumes of text without anybody finding out until after his death is remarkable in itself. But on top of that, these drawings are actually well executed and give you an insight into the secret world of a very remarkable man indeed.
He's most definitely the source of inspiration for my latest drawing: The Children's Unit 1 - 2, in which I try to combine the dreamlike quality of the fairytale, with the outrageousness of Marquis de Sade. Basically I don't think that there's anything new in doing that. If you read the stories collected and written by the Grimm brothers, a lot of them are pretty scary themselves. And I firmly believe that even the worst nightmare, the grimmest vision, simply by being within the boundaries of human conception should be brought out into the open rather than being suppressed.

Suppressing them, I think, is the same as running the risk that they might come true."
Peter Land 23. 08. - 2000

On September 2. at 15.00 Peter Land will do a talk with Annika Ström about their video works, organized by Videodrome, Copenhagen.

We wellcome you in the gallery,

Nicolai Wallner