The title of the exhibition is lifted from a hand written inscription in an edition of Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’. The full inscription reads like this:
“Laurabelle and Nicolas - to the road less travelled - wishing you love and happiness and curiosity forever- with love, Annie xx”
Jesper Elg: “I actually never saw the inscription myself. It is sealed in paint forever in one of Shane Bradford’s dipped book works. I guess this fact made me even more intrigued and curious about the work. And that feeling is exactly what this exhibition celebrates; curiosity forever. Curiosity as a question mark when too many people agree or disagree. Curiosity as in turning your GPS off and letting gut and chance roam. Curiosity as to what art is or could be. Curiosity as to exploring limits and boundaries. Curiosity as in transgressing limits and boundaries. Curiosity as in meeting the world again. Curiosity as to what will happen when I stick my finger in there. Curiosity as to what are being built in there. All the questions you are not supposed to ask, but hopefully do.”
This makes perfect sense. Curiosity is a key component of life in all its grit and glory. Closely related to courage, stupidity, lust and intelligence it is dangerous and vital, wise and senseless. It can push you into darkness and turn on the light. It can send you down dodgy paths and make you take wrong turns. But it also paves the way for triumph. It can create and destroy. It makes heroes and losers. And can lead to both magnificent mistakes and great thoughts. It made Odysseus stray, but perhaps it also led him back on track. Scientists, artists and prying people in general keep venturing into the unknown instead of resting on given truths that promises them a comfortable life in this life and the supposed next. Paradise was lost. But Freedom was given.
The exhibition features works from 25 very diverse international artists working in different media spanning from painting, mixed media and drawing over sculpture to video. Some are old friends of V1: the prolific Rory MacBeth, the fluorescent rebels Dearraindrop, the influential Clayton Brothers, the Icelandic Brahman Johannes Hinriksson, the devilishly detailed Troels Carlsen and the artistic sniper Jakob Boeskov. And others are new friends: the deliciously quirky Michael Dumontier, the visual wordsmith Lora Fosberg and Mike Mills whose monocle we love to see the world through. Some have kept us curious for years; others have just caught our attention. But all works are projections of our wish to know, see and hear more – and our hope to feel lost and found at the same time.
We can’t think of a more appropriate way of opening the doors to a new decade, than by celebrating curiosity in contemporary art. Jump into the reverse boat and dance around the colorful totems. Marvel at constructions we will never be able to find harmony in and sympathize with the dog whose position some of us envy and other of us fear. Leave the brush hanging and let the fat man find his own – and others – death. Bike next to the exotic beauty in familiar settings and read all the lost signals.