1993 · Denmark
Founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, SUPERFLEX is a Danish artist group who create public artworks which are often playful and whimsical and yet often create a degree of controversy. They describe their projects as ‘Tools’ and invite audiences to participate in and modify the artworks, which then in itself creates statements on subjects such as economic conditions and production.
Much of Superflex’s body of work is driven by process and bears echoes of the emboldened forms and ideas of the Pop Art era. The themes of Superflex’s creations bear a more serious tone, though, that those preceding movements because their work taps into the essential concerns of our modern world from climate change to capitalism.
Superflex’s social and cultural concerns are best shown in the 2009 short film ‘Flooded McDonald’s’, which depicts a life size replica of a McDonald’s restaurant being entirely flooded with water. This slow film is devoid of drama, and instead looks to question the role of mass corporations in dealing with global issues such as climate change. However the artists are not opposed entirely to globalisation or commercialism, as shown in their ongoing project ‘Guarana Power’, in which the artists worked with local farmers to develop a drink which cultivates the berries of the guarana plant. Through this project, they look to establish new and more visible economic structures. Economics and production are themes in much of their work and are often used in playful ways, such as in their 2017 installation at the Tate Modern gallery in London, ‘One, Two, Three, Swing!’. Swings adorned the space which guests were invited to use, whilst a pendulum swung from the ceiling above a carpet decorated in the colours of British currency. By participating in swinging or by watching the slow movements of the pendulum, the audience were contributing to the piece by displaying both passive and active movements, representing different attitudes towards economic production. Their recent LED installation, ‘It Is Not The End of the World’, reveals a biting critique of contemporary climate change policies through the lens of an enticing display akin to a glossy advertisement.
Superflex' works are represented in public art institutions such as MoMA in New York, Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo, and Kunsthaus Zürich in Switzerland. In 2017 they were commissioned to produce the Hyundai Turbine Hall installation at the Tate Modern gallery in London. They are currently represented by Nils Staerk in Copenhagen, Denmark, and 1301PE in Los Angeles, California.