Pernille With Madsen

b. 1972, Lives and works in Copenhagen.

Education MA from Jutland Art Academy (2003). Solo exhibitions include International Centre for Contemporary Culture, San Sebastián, Spain (2017), The Lipsius Building, Brussel, Belgium (2012) and Horsens Kunstmuseum (2010). She has participated in several group exhibitions including Stadtgalerie Kiel (2013), Brandts, Odense (2008) and Guandong Museum of Art, Guangzou (2008). She received The Danish Art Councils 3 Year Work Grant (2010).

Excess, 2020, Onyx, acrylic light plate, silk screen print, aluminum, 103 × 111 × 63 cm

 Public commission, Metro Station, Enghave Brygge, Copenhagen, 2023

Horisontal coreography, film loop. 2013

Horisontal choreography, performance, film loop. 2013

Excess and Melancholy, installation view, galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen 2020


On Pernille With Madsen

Extract from a text by Lars Bang Larsen.   

Pernille With Madsen’s works are a kind of Op Arte Povera, a poor and fudgy art of perception. Her images are coated with sugar, but they also push you around, and check you out, as you lose control of your experience. They are decoys and ersatz, shadow play and kinky transformations of materials, according to the artist, “an attempt at seduction at the same time as you reveal your tricks.” What kind of seduction is this? And what tricks are revealed in the same moment? Madsen herself characterises this double-bound procedure as a bad flirt, no doubt knowing that such meta-flirters are the most affected and troublesome of their kind. At the same time as they hang at the bar looking for attention, they make honesty and transparency a part of their game. They don’t pretend to be the tall, dark stranger who will sweep you away, and they are too fatalistic to care about the social competence of the good flirt. Culturally speaking, seduction is instrumentalised in fake news, functional nonsense, and tendentious narratives: seducers and mechanisms that want a whole lot from you, in order to forge an agreement that reality is a pliable, controllable substance. Meta-flirters, to the contrary, locate seduction in the realms of (wishful) thinking and (day) dreaming, as much as on the plane of reality – for it is on the limit that you can get drunk on the signs themselves, and perhaps also stay true to what the things actually are. The movement that seduction aims to be, and that cannot culminate in consensus or representation, expands the limit to an in-between space of becoming.
Maybe it is from here that you can observe the enjoyment that can never be fulfilled or inhabited – because you will overdo it gluttonously, or because you ultimately care more for dissolution and longing. When you are in doubt what the image shows; when the celluloid breaks and reveals the screen itself as a projection; when sublime materials become indeterminable and stick to the eye like the blind spots from where we cannot see death, but we are momentarily made capable of seizing the freedom to break up the plane of reality, and escape across it…