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2005 Østein Aasan

Øystein Aasan’s works function as a game of visual contrast and compare. The modernist grid is taken on a play date with images from the leftovers of a visual history associated with popular culture. Aasan picks these images from old magazines or from collecting copy negatives and the images are mass-produced and potentially limitless in quantity. As such they are examples of the norm in art post-pop. Both through references and the use of found imagery, post-modernist art keeps seeping through the cracks of the modernist grid. Or perhaps rather the grid is being superimposed over the found image. This could easily be interpreted as an attempt to re-describe the, assumed literary, qualities of referentiality that we normally ascribe to post-modern art. The result is a feeling of visual tension that is optically immediate, but also conceptually striking since what is at stake is the very distinction between modernist and post-modernist ways of understanding the image. Aasan’s work makes the connection between grid and multiple obvious by combining them in objects that themselves appear anonymously unique.

Erlend Hammer, Lautom Contemporary catalogue for Liste 2009