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09.12.2013 INTERVIEW

Tal R Foto: Michelle Korbø.

Tal R and his secret space – An introduction to Nansensgade 62

Tal R is on everybodys lips, and an introduction to the succesful artist is hardly necessary. When currently being portrayed in a documentary and having his ”The Virgin” exhibition as the talk of the town, it can surprise that anything that has to do with Tal R can come across as a little overseen. It seems though, that Nansensgade 62, which is Tal R’s own space, hasn’t gained much attention from the public. The information about this no-named place is sparse, and I went to talk to the owner himself, hoping to uncover the mystery of Nansensgade 62.

AF Michelle Korbø

Prior to this interview, I have only been able to find one sentence about this place. What is Nansensgade 62?
I have known this space for several years. I thought it was such a beautiful room, because it is divided in two which is pretty rare in this kind of shop-spaces. At some point I had the idea that I wanted an office in here, because that all of the talk-talk that exists in an office, didn’t really fit into my idea of a studio.

The idea is, that at the back of the shop is an office, and in the front there is this small room were we can do exhibitions. And since this is not a commercial space, we haven’t really done much to advertise ourselves.

I love the idea that you walk down Nansensgade and then the window suddenly says Raymon Pettibon. It could say Franz West, even one day maybe Picabia. Then you come in and there is one, two, three paintings, or perhaps a sculpture. Something very simple. Something out of the blue.

So you’re not showing your own artworks here?
This is never going to be a place where I’m going to show my own works.
This is perhaps the limit for me at the moment. I’m not so interested in showing my own works here, but in showing works by other people.
I will only show things that i love. Things that I am excited about, jealous about.

We started with a Raymon Pettibon show. Then we did a show with Richard Winther’s photos. Now we have works by this old painter called Embah, who is from Trinidad. He is kind of a legend among many artists. Embah is famous for going to New York when he turned 70. He went around looking at different galleries for days. He then made a Noble Prize worthy remark; ”It seems like everybody in New York tries to do the extraordinary, but nobody can handle the ordinary.” I’ve always been very inspired by this. This thought about the extraordinary and the ordinary.

I found out that in making an exhibition, it only takes a friendly phone call, a transport and an insurance, and voila – there is an exhibition. It’s not that difficult. The idea of people coming into the shop and being met with something amazing is very easy when it’s not about selling.

We didn’t plan to do openings. It’s just not the point. The point is just to walk in and walk out. But, I have a weakness – artbooks. I have been doing books and books over the years, and all the time I wanted to have my own platform where people can experience my books.

I’ve actually reached a point where I’m almost embarrased about the speed of books that i do. For example this month, five og six books are coming out. We actually try to hide some of them, so it doesn’t look that obsessive. I have no idea why I am like that. I can’t recommend it, I’m not proud of making all those books. But it just seems like I need to do it. I have to put them behind me. I have to go deeper into all this material, and books have been such a good tool in doing so. Artbooks on one hand is as slow as playing the flute. Why would anybody do artbooks today, when you can just post stuff on the Internet. I understand that artbooks are weak, I understand that it is absolutely useless. You can’t even say it’s nostalgic, it’s beyond nostalgic. On the other hand, so is painting. In one kind of discussion, painting is also weak and useless. So I think i’ve made a carrier for myself by finding value in useless places such as artbooks and paintings.

I could imagine having other books than my own here. It could be something for the future. This place is really like a platform that I didn’t create by following a fully fixed idea. It’s something that constantly develops.

Also for the first time now, I’m on Facebook. I will soon be on every social platform because I slowly understand the charm of it. I also love the idea that I can communicate more directly, without having to go through museums and galleries. I can talk myself. I’m a little slow with these things.

It’s important to remember that your kids will think of Facebook as just as outdated as I think artbooks are. They will think of Instagram as nostalgic and useless. This is the case with all platforms. So why just not stick with a platform which is already a sinking ship, like artbooks?

Besides taking on all the social platforms and perhaps start having books other than your own, do you have any other ideas of what is going to happen in the future?
At the moment there are two tracks for this room. The first is developing the idea of social platforms which is already in the process, and the other thing is the exhibition platform. It is absolutely con amore. I don’t want fixed opening hours, I don’t want to be so publicly efficient. I just want to do, what I want when i feel like it.

This would not be a place to promote young art or to promote anything beoynd what I find amazing. There are certain things that I have been collecting over the years, and when I feel like I have enough of it, I will show it here.

The space doesn’t have a name. The name should be whatever is shown here. You can say that it is a kind of three-dimensional instagram. You walk in here and just see something, and we really want to apply this in the debate of things happening in Copenhagen.

When you deal with art, you walk on a road where you don’t know what’s around the next corner, and I think the shop should be like that. That’s the charm of it.

Thank you.

Nansensgade 62 Foto: Michelle Korbø.

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