March 16 –
May 14, 2017
Henrik Olesen: The Walk

Opening reception: Thursday March 16, 6:30-8:30 pm

Underneath everything, there’s dirt. Most of the time, we regulate and contain it. We cover it up with floors, roads, buildings, even entire cities. When it spills, we sweep it up—it’s as if we were hiding or repressing it.

Henrik Olesen adds dirt to the neatness and sexlessness of conceptual art. He is drawn to surfaces that are scarred, deformed, uneven, and deliberately rough. He works against all that is antiseptic and towards an art that recognizes desire, profanity, obscenity, perversion, and jouissance as productive and emancipatory forces. If Olesen is dirty, it’s because he takes the culturally constructed boundaries that separate man from woman, gay from straight, normal from abnormal, and dirties them up. He queers all that is fixed and organized, replacing it with the dissolved and the disorganized—the polysexual.

For this exhibition, Olesen creates a site-specific installation of new work along with a selection of existing works from the past five years.

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Henrik Olesen (b. 1967, Esbjerg, Denmark) lives and works in Berlin.

This exhibition is curated by Anthony Huberman and organized by Leila Grothe. Made possible thanks to the generous support of the Danish Arts Foundation, the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Eleanor Cayre, and the Wattis New Commissions Circle. Special thanks to Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, "Hysterical Men 1" (detail), 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York.
Henrik Olesen, "Hysterical Men 1" (detail), 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York.
Henrik Olesen, "Hysterical Men 2" (detail), 2013. Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.
Henrik Olesen, "Hysterical Men 2" (detail), 2013. Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Box, 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Box, 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Produce 4, 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Produce 4, 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Produce 8 (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Produce 8 (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production, 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production, 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production, 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production, 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, Self Production (detail), 2017; The Walk, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Henrik Olesen, The Walk, 2017; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold.