Superflex the Danish Collective best known for displaying a giant Euro coin on the side of the Hayward Gallery have been chosen to undertake this year’s Hyundai Commission for Tate’s Turbine Hall, opening on 3 October 2017. It will be the next in this major series of annual site-specific commissions by renowned international artists. SUPERFLEX is best known for its playfully subversive installations and films. Founded by artists Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, Jakob Fenger and Rasmus Nielsen, SUPERFLEX offers engaging, often humorous perspectives on the social and cultural concerns of our age, from migration to alternative energy production, and from the power of global capital to the regulation of intellectual property.
Their work raises timely questions about the role of the artist in contemporary society – Frances Morris Director Tate Modern
Through a diverse and complex practice, SUPERFLEX challenges the traditional confines and expectations of art and the exhibition space. Superkilen (2011) a major public park project in one of Copenhagen’s most diverse neighbourhoods was developed through collaboration with local residents from over 50 countries. SUPERFLEX employed a strategy they call ‘extreme participation’ to engage the community and create a unifying urban space with a distinct international identity. In contrast, Hospital Equipment (2014) highlights the role of context in the definition of artistic practice. Consisting of an installation of surgical equipment dispatched directly from gallery to conflict zone, the work oscillates from ‘readymade’ artwork to potentially lifesaving, functional object. Also known for their varied film works, SUPERFLEX has explored themes including the analysis of art forgeries and migration at the outermost borders of the EU through the film. Referring to their works as tools, SUPERFLEX engages alternative models for the creation, dissemination, and maintenance of the social and economic organisation.
Since Tate Modern opened in 2000, the Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most memorable and acclaimed works of contemporary art, reaching an audience of millions each year. The way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionised public perceptions of contemporary art in the 21st century. The annual Hyundai Commission gives artists an opportunity to create new work for this unique context. It is made possible by the long-term partnership between Tate and Hyundai Motor, confirmed until 2025 as part of the longest initial commitment from a corporate sponsor in Tate’s history.
Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern, said: ‘We are delighted to announce that SUPERFLEX will undertake the Hyundai Commission in 2017. Their work raises timely questions about the role of the artist in contemporary society, exploring how we interpret and engage with the increasingly complex world around us. I can’t wait to see how they tackle these themes within the unique scale and public context of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.’
SUPERFLEX is based in Copenhagen and was founded in 1993 by Danish artists and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, Jakob Fenger and Rasmus Nielsen. SUPERFLEX has gained international recognition for projects and solo exhibitions around the world, including Kunsthalle Basel; the Mori Museum, Tokyo; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. The group has participated in international biennials such as the Gwangju Biennale, Istanbul Biennial, São Paulo Biennial, Shanghai Biennial, and in the Utopia Station exhibition at the Venice Biennale. SUPERFLEX are represented in several public art institutions, such as MoMA, New York; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais; and Coleccion Jumex, Mexico City.
The Hyundai Commission: SUPERFLEX will be curated by Donald Hyslop, Head of Regeneration & Community Partnerships, with Synthia Griffin, Curator of Regeneration & Community Partnerships and assistant curator Valentina Ravaglia. It will be accompanied by a new book from Tate Publishing.
SUPERFLEX: 3 October 2017 – 2 April 2018 Turbine Hall, Tate Modern