Welcome to the exhibition “Base Reality”, which is also, kind of secretly, called ”Bent’s Greenhouse” - In my mind, the two titles are connected in the way that if my Base Reality (a concept I explain below) is the reality, I live in now, then it is together with Bent. Bent is a very friendly and grounded man, 80 years old. He cultivates a rare and impressively potent bamboo, which he gives to friends and acquaintances for them to plant it in their garden. He also cultivates a potted palm tree. Or that is, he got the palm tree at a party 40-50 years ago and has since then made copies of the original. Bent is my neighbour.
After a long period of time, in which science has worked from the premise of a materialistic world, where everything (even the mind and consciousness) can be broken down into matter, there is now a new thought, accepted among scientists. It has been around for a long time, but it has not previously been accepted. The idea is, that we exist in a hyper-realistic, simulated reality devised by ... well, we don’t know who.
For the exhibition at SPECTA I have made a new series of works, where I have pursued the idea, that we might exist in such a simulation ... Us, me, Bent, the bamboo, the palm trees. Scientists imagine that the structure of simulations resembles a reverse pyramid, where base reality is the point at the bottom of the inverted pyramid - the true reality. Above the base reality-point is a larger area of the pyramid that represents first level simulations. Above it is an even larger area that represents simulations on the second level and so on. The researchers believe, that we do not exist in base reality - the fundamental reality. So Bent's palm trees are…. not real ..?
Let's say the researchers are right; that we are in one of these levels of simulation. This is how most computer games are built - one takes a role and exists in a universe, thus a simulation within a simulation. I've done that myself in the past, working with My Bajan Letters, a text I wrote together with an email scammer a few years back. The correspondence took me to Barbados, where I drifted around for a while. Searching for our created universe - the universe, the scammer and I had created together. I am quite aware, that I myself created this universe, and therefore it does not seem unreasonable that my current universe is fictitious ... I paint a little in the morning, I go over to visit Bent, I buy eggs (Bent has chickens), speak a bit about the weather and plants, I go home, I paint again, I make a soft-boiled egg, I eat it .... This could be a simulation? The more I think about it, the more convinced I become.
Inspired by Bent's garden and greenhouse, the paintings are painted in a more dissolved way, but are not completely surreal or science-fiction-like. The weaved image of the greenhouse may appear somewhat digital, and in that way dissolved, but also friendly and gentle. Other paintings may seem darker and suggest a coded existence. But even if this life is a fictional simulation, it is still livable for us, isn’t it…?
Yours sincerely, Ditte