Ragged aura by Magnus Thorø Clausen, 2021  
 
 
When talking about the readymade, it is often emphasised that there is no difference between the readymade and the real thing. The only difference is topological: Where the thing is, determines what the thing signifies. The readymade technique is understood as an action based solely on selection and transport. This is probably true in many cases. But by focusing only on the topological, one overlooks something fundamental, namely that the readymade-things are also often materially transformed in the relocation from reality to the art context. What does this transformation mean? I would say that it helps to undermine the readymade's status as a copy and give things a new form of autonomy, a reality of their own.

CT's works are often based on readymade clothes and textiles produced by others in other contexts. These materials are soft, pliable and intimate, and relate directly to the body (e.g. in the form of stuff one can wear) or to everyday life and the domestic space (e.g. in the form of things one can sleep on). In the installation Big Body, the artist built a wall of used mattresses and cushions between two pillars in the room. The materials, stacked from floor to ceiling, were also bent and folded around themselves and into each other. The mattress wall thus gained a concentrated, chaotic kind of energy. It was possible to see it both as a collective thing and as a combination of individual elements with each their own essence and expression. 

In the outdoor installation I Love You / Eight Gaps, recycled clothing and textiles were instead neatly folded and stacked in narrow spaces between a row of metal sheds. One could say that both types of folding are, in a way, anti-aesthetic. They are reminiscent of ordinary methods of sorting and packing clothes, for example in one's own wardrobe, when one is either in a hurry or has plenty of time. These are unconscious or automated forms of arranging that may only be noticed when taken out of their functional environment. When the piles of clothes are inserted into foreign contexts, it becomes possible to experience them as narrative spaces. One may wonder what kind of intrinsic universe they belong to - which real or fictional situations precede and come after their existence.

Something else that stands out is the often large scale and the many components of the works. The size and number of elements help blast the works' frame of reference from individuals to families, to more extended communities. It seems crucial that the materials are relatively anonymous. They could have belonged to anyone and come from anywhere. As used things, the clothes contain traces of past lives, but as unidentified fragments, they may speak just as much about forgetfulness and disappearance. In the textile relief The World's Navel, the fine lines of the folds resemble a large fingerprint, and ask questions about the connection between clothing and identity.

Textiles activate both the sense of touch and memory. Even if, as a spectator, one is usually not allowed to touch works of art, it is still possible to get a sense of them as tactile things. Luce Irigaray formulates it somewhere as "seeing with the skin". There is perhaps a parallel between the organic shades of the clothing and different skin tones. In other works, the clothing's colouring resonates more closely with the surrounding architecture or with the sky. The installation Perlemor at Sydhavn Station was a series of dyed Lycra pieces of fabric pressed behind acrylic sheets. The fabric images appeared as raw abstract "paintings", but they could also resemble spontaneous actions fixed in time, somewhere between glamour and garbage. 

A dirty or worn aura surrounds CT’s works. According to Walter Benjamin, the aura is the factor that disappears when things are reproduced and turned into copies. In principle, the fabric piles are also mass-produced copies without originals. But by being folded and stacked as they are, gently, exploratory, or sometimes roughly, they also become original and mysterious items, charged with meaning. However, the aura of things does not seem like a supernatural aura. It is rather comparable to the kind of strangeness an everyday object can acquire if one forgets for a moment why it exists. 

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Slidt aura af Magnus Thorø Clausen, 2021

Når man taler om readymades fremhæves ofte den pointe, at der ingen forskel er mellem readymaden og tingen i virkelighed. Den eneste forskel er topologisk: Dér hvor tingen er afgør hvad tingen betyder. Readymade teknikken forstås som en handling baseret udelukkende på selektion og transport. Sådan er det vel også i mange tilfælde. Men ved kun at fokusere på det topologiske, overser man noget andet vigtigt, nemlig at readymade-tingene også tit omformes materielt i flytningen fra virkelighed til kunstkontekst. Hvad betyder denne omformning? Jeg tror, det er med til at undergrave readymadens status som kopi og give tingene en ny form for autonomi, en egen virkelighed.

CTs værker er tit baseret på readymade tøj og tekstiler, som er lavet af andre i andre sammenhænge. Det er materialer, som er bløde, føjelige og intime, som er relateret direkte til kroppen (fx i form af ting man kan tage på) eller til hverdagen og hjemmet (fx i form af ting man kan sove på). I installationen Store krop byggede hun en væg af brugte madrasser og hynder mellem to søjler i rummet. Materialerne blev stablet fra gulv til loft, men også bukket og foldet om sig selv og ind i hinanden. Madras-væggen fik på den måde en koncentreret, kaotisk energi. Det var både muligt at se den som samlet kollektiv ting og som en sammenstykning af individuelle ting med hver sit væsen og udtryk.

I udendørs installationen I Love You / Eight Gaps var genbrugstøj og tekstiler i stedet sirligt foldet og stablet i tynde rum mellem en række metalskure på række. Man kunne sige, at begge typer af foldning på en måde er anti-æstetiske. Det minder mest af alt om almindelige måder at sortere og pakke tøj fx i ens eget tøjskab, når man enten har travlt eller god tid. Det er ubevidste eller automatiserede former for sortering, som man måske først kan se, når man tager dem ud af deres funktionelle sammenhæng. Når tøjbunkerne indsættes i fremmedartede kontekster bliver det også muligt at opleve dem som narrative rum. Man kan spørge hvilket eget univers de tilhører - hvilke virkelige eller fiktive situationer, der går forud for og følger efter deres eksistens.

Noget andet som falder i øjnene er værkernes ofte store skala og mange bestanddele. Skalaen og mængden af ting er med til at sprænge værkernes referenceramme fra enkeltpersoner til familier til mere omfattende fællesskaber. Det virker vigtigt, at materialerne er relativt anonyme. De kunne stamme fra hvem som helst og komme hvor som helst fra. Som brugte ting indeholder tøjet spor af tidligere liv, men som anonyme fragmenter taler det måske i lige så høj grad om glemsel og forsvinding. I stofrelieffet Verdens navle minder foldernes fine linjer om et stort fingeraftryk og stiller spørgsmål om sammenhængen mellem tøj og identitet.

Stof aktiverer både ens følesans og erindring. Selv om man som tilskuer ikke normalt må røre kunstværker, kan man stadig godt se dem taktilt. Luce Irigaray formulerer det et sted som at "se med huden". Der er måske en parallel mellem tøjets organiske nuancer og forskellige hudfarver. I andre værker resonerer tøjets indfarvning mere med den omgivende arkitektur eller med himlen. Installationen Perlemor på Sydhavn Station var en serie af indfarvede Lycra-stofstykker klemt inde bag akrylplader. Stofbillederne fremstod som rå abstrakte "malerier", men de virkede også som spontane handlinger fikseret i tid, et sted mellem glamour og skrald.

CTs værker er omgivet af en form for beskidt eller nedslidt aura. Ifølge Walter Benjamin er auraen ellers det, der forsvinder, når ting bliver reproduceret og forvandles til kopier. Stofbunkerne er i princippet også masseproducerede kopier uden originaler. Men ved at foldes og stables som de gør, nænsomt, undersøgende eller nogle gange voldsomt, bliver de også til originale og mystiske ting, ladet med mening. Auraen i tingene virker dog ikke som en overjordisk aura. Den er mere sammenlignelig med den form for mærkelighed en hverdagsting kan få, hvis man et øjeblik glemmer, hvorfor den er til.

Sarah Kent, Time Out, 2007
'Attached to a metal stand, a piece of wood sports a nifty fringe of black plastic. Jammed into one end with bits of yellow, orange and red felt is a bright orange length of corrugated plastic piping; it gesticulates above two plastic buckets and a washing-up bowl stacked on a low trolley. The materials may be value-less, but attention to detail, such as the tinsel decorating the rim of the bowl, transforms Thrane's ensemble from an idle accumulation of junk into an assemblage made with careful intent. [...] The appeal of these sculptures arises, I think, from the way they embrace imperfection - our own and the world's [.]'

Sotiris Kyriacou, press release, 2010
Creating a new syntax and logic out of the everyday and familiar, Thrane’s juxtapositions highlight qualities and readings beyond the utilitarian. Thrane uses objects and images in ways which initially appear disorientating, only to make us look again at what we think we already know. This re-engagement with our surroundings proposes a different outlook and allows new possibilities to emerge. Things which would not normally be seen together are selected for the possible conversations they may begin to have when different factors and qualities beyond the functional are prioritised; these include colour, shape, position and placement alone or in groups.