REVIEW: ASGER CARLSEN – “Wrong” (2010)




By Doug Rickard

There is an inversion taking place here in that which is Wrong.

Yes, an inversion taking place as elements and features, constructed from “normal ones”, are twisted into creatures. Replace and deface, erase and retrace, instruct and construct. I turn the pages while I gawk and shift and retract, but I am pulled by its enchantment, seduced by its vulgarity, repulsed by its charm. At a deeper level this inversion is preying upon and manipulating the notions that we carry, our own sense of normalcy, the arrangement of our physical world. It is taking those barriers that keep things in order, that keep us from squirming, those normal shapes that keep us comfortable… and it heaves them on their head.

The tools used to do this to us are such:

* Hairy heads
* Large blobs of (organic) mass
* Double sets of eyes
* Larger sets of eyes
* Bulging sets of eyes
* Wooden legs and little boxes to carry around torso stumps
* A pat on the back to reassure a misshapen creature that is not reassurable
* Beasts and humanoid sex
* Double heads and lambchop faces
* Mocking and worshipping of shapes in odd places

You see, we are very comfortable with those things that are pretty and symmetrical. We are at ease around that which fits in and that which is “right” but we get rather nauseous at that which is ugly and that which is wrong. The too-fat things, the too-hairy things, the rickety-handicapped things and the fairy things. The bumpy shapes and the sandpaper-whisker scrapes, the off-kilter and the uneven. The large foreheads and the over-hairy. Yes, we don’t so much like these “gross” ones, the odd color ones and the misshapen ones. We may say that we accept them and we may like them more if we are one of them… but in truth, we want what is normal, we prefer what is balanced, we love what is “right”.

Yes, there is an inversion taking place here in that which is Wrong and in a lovely little black and white object full of pictures to cherish and sit on our hand… in a remarkable manipulation of skill, vision and fate, the Wrong turns out to be simply everything that is Right.

Absolutely and utterly recommended.




Posted in Asger Carlsen, Book Reviews, Denmark and tagged , , , .