JORN, Asger; PRESTSÆTER, Ellef (ed.)
Open Creation and its Enemies: Asger Jorn in Situation

Everyone knows Asger Jorn. The best of painters. In addition to which, he did everything. Marvels: that is to say, in every domain, innovations. We are even beginning to learn—and here the latecomers will be forced to catch up quick—of his decisive contribution to the new urbanism and the creation of a situationist topology. Not to mention détourned painting, which is something quite different from ordinary painting; hundreds of pages of studies on aesthetics, from which aesthetics will never recover; the largest ceramic work in the world. And, of course, tapestry. Asger Jorn never stopped exiting painting, on every side.
—Michèle Bernstein, 1960

Open Creation and Its Enemies: Asger Jorn in situation presents the singular trajectory of the Danish artist Asger Jorn (1914–1973), a founding member of avant-garde movements such as Cobra and the Situationist International. While often acclaimed as an extraordinary painter, the exceptional range of Jorn’s practice merits a broader exploration. Open Creation and Its Enemies makes legible the experimental parameters of Jorn’s multifarious activities, charting his exits from, as well as his returns to, painting.

To Asger Jorn, producing, collecting, and reworking images was a way of transforming the world. In 1946 he made an automatic drawing during a stay in Saxnäs, a town in Sweden and Sápmi (the land of the indigenous Sámi people). Using pen and transparent paper, he then traced a series of drawings from the original while also inviting artist friends to do the same. The result was a proliferation of interpretations, among them remarkable paintings as well as theoretical elaborations. For Jorn, the experience proved the value of artistic experiments. It also demonstrated that an image is open to a multitude of interpretations depending on the “activity of the spectator, who in this way is no real spectator anymore.”

Taking its cue from this experiment, Open Creation and Its Enemies presents an expansive and inviting view of Asger Jorn. The book, published in conjunction with the eponymous exhibition at IVAM, València, includes reproductions of numerous documents as well as translations of canonical and hitherto unpublished texts by Jorn, along with texts shedding new perspectives on his practice.

Published by IVAM, 2023
Design by Filiep Tacq
Exhibition Catalogues / Counterculture / Documents / Material Culture / Poetry / Politics

Price: 50€

JORN, Asger; PRESTSÆTER, Ellef (ed.) - Open Creation and its Enemies: Asger Jorn in Situation