A Continuously Emerging Fence
‘While a line is being drawn, it behaves like a continuously emerging fence.’
Carl Krull seismographic universes confront the laws of space and form. Through a multitude of graphite lines, faces and shapes seem to emerge from the two-dimensional surface breaking into our three-dimensional realm. The viewer is here hauled in to actively engage with the concave and convex, the positive and negative space on the quest of seemingly undefined shapes which recall natural phenomena as stalactite caves and tree rings.
The documentation of the process reinforces the role of the spectator as he is invited to enter the evolution and constantly changing world of Carls’ creations, for a short time one is asked to focus on what he sees rather than what he knows. From a piece of paper to the urban fabric, Carl’s surfaces are active participants in guiding his lines calling for constant improvisation into the crafting of unique ‘in between the line’ forms.
What are your sources of inspiration?
There is so much around which inspires me that I don’t really know what to mention and what to leave out.
Just for us and our readers can you kindly give it a try?
I’m inspired when I think about perception and how our eyes function. How sensory information becomes images in our minds when light strikes the retina. Playing with cameras and various photographic techniques inspire me. Conversations with friends about the mysteries of life, science, philosophy and all the things I don’t understand inspire me. I know that a cell divides into two but not really how they do it, if it starts with a spin, a twist or a twirl, if the two divisions are like mirror images of each other or clones, if they spin in different directions and if their spin is possibly connected to quantum mechanics. I know next to nothing about quantum mechanics, but I have read that recent studies have identified such processes and phenomena in both photosynthesis and vision. My love for my wife and the fact that two children is a miracle to me. Conception and creation, my drawings what are they? Not clones nor mirror images, but some kind of reflections maybe? What information is passed through me – through the pencil onto the paper, when the image strikes the retina of the spectator what happens then?
What defined your artistic practice?
My work primarily centers around black an white drawing. It is an intense feeling of focus I have while drawing. The act of drawing fills my mind to a point where it is the only thing that is present. The lines and contours drawn by the pencil feels as hyper real, as if they were carved out of wood or stone. Drawing somehow feels like sculpting. It becomes a three dimensional sensation. It is extremely satisfying and meditative at the same time.
Have you ever thought of challenging the two dimensional surface and exploring sculpture and/or relief?
Yes, I have recently finished a sculpture project i call “Subterranean”. I is a 3 meter tall concrete head weighting 29ton, which was created by digging the two sides of a gigantic head and filling the holes with concrete, and finally pulling the two sides up and putting them together.
What role do the videos play in trying to trace the birth and evolution of your work?
the videos of the work precess are simply documentation. But in an era where we all constantly consume loads of images, the videos fixate the spectator just a little while. These seconds count, because when we have the time, we start to look at what we see rather than scan for what we know already.
When talking about a society which is consumed with images, your drawings ask for one to look twice and explore the volume/images created – is i something you wanted to explore? Do you see your drawings as tools which have the potential of asking us to look further?
I find that looking twice at the same object or image is kind of not possible. You might see the same thing, but when revisiting what you have just seen you have moved on to a different state of looking. First you scan, then you return to explore by your own decision.. Kind of like when Robert Redford sees a woman in a glance while turning his head, and to late realizes her beauty, forcing his head to return and stare 😉 .. and yes!
How important is the process the compared to the final product? What is your work process?
While a line is being drawn, it behaves like a continuously emerging fence. What had just been hidden seconds ago by the uncharted territory of the empty paper appears by the single line. It defines what is on either side, what is inside and what is outside, what is in front and behind simultaneously. I find my drive in the work process, but get struck by wonder when looking at the final result.
One other factor is the architectural surface upon which you draw- is this a tabula rasa or does it influence the piece? What role does the architectural context of the city play?
The architectural surface always influence the piece I am doing. I always improvise, so the exact dimensions and surroundings are teammates in the dialog which we call creation.
How does the work done in an urban environment differ from the work developed in the studio?
When working in a public place, I think about the fact that the people passing by are often forced to look at my work, not by there own choosing but simply because it is there in front of them. Work in an urban environment is often seen multiple times by the same people, sometimes on a daily basis. I see this as a responsibility. Therefore I probably tend to do something more open that fluctuates and does not settle into a locked figurative entity. When I work in my studio I am responsible to no one and the workflow can go in any direction. I don’t have to create beautiful or pleasant work, but simply have to go in an unexplored direction.
What defined the use of black and white?
Black and white is night time and outer space. Black and white is the ultimate opposition, the purest contrast. Colors are everything in between. I can easily imagine that we as humans in some primordial way absorb black and white works of art differently than colored ones. I would say, that most probably they do defy cultural barriers differently. Maybe because of their simplicity and silhouette style contrast, they might well take an alternate route through our brain. Passing through our reptilian brain on their way first, making the impact more fundamental.
Have you ever thought of including color?
So far, I have felt, that when working with colors it leaves me standing with to many choices. So I have peeled away color for the time being. It is not that I have renounced colors. They just remain a step I have not yet taken.
Carl Krull (b. 1975) lives and works in Denmark. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, Poland in 1999 and has ever since contributed to a wide range of exhibitions in both Denmark and abroad. He has exhibited in Denmark at Aros, Aarhus Art Museum, Charlottenborg Kunsthalle and V1 Gallery. He has enjoyed international recognition from amongst other places Japan, France and USA.