Peter Linde Busk


Here Comes Trouble

Opening September 27th 

7 pm to 9 pm


“Instead of pretending I will tell you what you will see if you come to the show. Or I will tell you what I will bring. The space that the wonderful Paola has here in Lisbon, whereto my monstrosities will travel wrapped in plastic and cardboard, a congregation of lunatics in a padded mobile cell setting out on a a pilgrimage of sorts, towards their own end, racing towards a red light, I haven’t actually seen it myself. A friend of mine went to see the space on my behalf, Paola keeps referring to him as the surf dude and I understand why, even though he is not only that. But he did used to surf. He’s actually a quite good painter. Anyways, he told me about the space, he liked it a lot but said that I shouldn’t bring too much work. Which I have tried. Nobody likes cramped spaces. But he said that the Schnecken would be great there. He meant Everything……..ends.

There will be three ceramic sculptures, at a fairly modest size, glazed white as always. One of the sculptures, which I will title Phoenix is placed on a plinth clad with a kind of collage of different kinds of treated wood that are all leftovers from previous works. It looks like someone caved his head in. For sure it’s a he, and he really took a beating. He only has one wing left and bulging eyes. The reason it’s called Phoenix is because it collapsed in the bisque (it was a different clay than we thought so we basically fired it too high), it was quite deformed after its stay in hell and did look somewhat different from when it was put in the kiln, I remember it as very good actually. Now it was deformed, and it almost broke the kiln. But it was still standing and with a few modifications it was ready for another turn. And it came out great. A second coming. At least I am happy about it, but then again, I can’t remember what it looked like before. He appears to be kind of staggering towards you. He looks quite exhausted. Restless. A ghost maybe. Haunted. Like all my characters, as a friend put it with some obscure reference to Carl Jung, it seems like they somehow didn’t die right, they are these tormented restless souls staggering around in some kind of limbo world……..

Surely they didn’t die right, they didn’t know how to live! ….but at the same time he is kind of kneeling. But for who? You? Is it Tannhäuser? Or are his legs just finally giving in? And what’s the meaning of all this?… Is he bringing news of defeat, requests for pardons or is he coming back for another beating? Or giving one?

(ok, so myth, deformed figuration, ghosts, resurrection, leftover materials, material processes, birds, white glaze = death, sepulchre hm, hm…….collage with wood, painting with materials…, hm)

The second sculpture is placed on a different kind of plinth. This one resembles a column and is made from leftover cardboard sheets I have kept, apparently for this reason. Into the cardboard we have stuck small ceramic and porcelain pieces, that was made by press molding clay into the same kind of cardboard that the column is made out of. Then they were fired. Once. Some of them twice and then put back into the cardboard again. A bit obsessive maybe, but I like the result. The head reminds me of the many representations of John the Baptist’s head presented to Salome by Herod. It also looks a bit like he is poking his head out from the plinth, grimacing to us, like a jack in a box or a jester making fun of the establishment (that would be you), which would explain the jester hat, the band around the top is an old painting cut into strips and sown together and stapled with the crosshatched staples referencing the painting practice I used to have and might still have again sometime. This piece could maybe be seen as a conceptual work of art, I guess, only, I don’t know what the concept is, but I guess there is stuff to talk about, which is always a good beginning.

(ok, so what do we have here, myth again, references to classical painting and imagery, grotesque imagery, twisted facial features = mental illness, the bust that Franz Xaver Messerschmidt did ……the carnivalesque, could mention Bakhtin, Columns 1 = Rome, = Caravaggio = the painting I saw in London with John the Baptist’s head on the tray….hm, not bad, I like that……. Columns 2: Rome again, Spolia architecture, spolia = recycling of materials from one context to another = leftover cardboard makes column…….hm, hm, might be onto something here…….reference to painting as a deserted field…..could come across as if I don’t think painting has any relevance, so maybe leave that out, because that’s not true……something about women who castrate men, break them down, disempower them)

The third sculpture is, I think, a new thing, if only because it’s quite a complex sculpture and I think even real ceramicists will appreciate how we managed to both bisque and glaze this sculpture that sits on a sideways barrel. The barrel is also made out of leftovers from the studio, as is everything. I have already mentioned the collaged wood surfaces and the painting band. Bandaid.

The barrel sits on a construction of carved wood pieces, like a stand and is supposed to appear precarious or unstable, so you imagine that the figure could fall over any minute or the barrel roll away from under him. Such is life. The sculpture will be titled Ibis in a kind of homage to Pesssoa, it was the name of one of Pessoa’s first publishing endeavors and though the business failed it would remain an important symbolic reference for him. According to Wikipedia anyway. And now me. I am pretty sure I also had a title for the second sculpture I mentioned before, but now I have forgotten. Anyways, Ibis might be presented on a kind of platform, I haven’t decided yet, but you know already, or will know if you go and see it. There might also be other last minute changes or additions, still have a few days and spades of ideas.

(ok, …more strange plinths, more birds, or birdlike creatures at least….more nautical stuff going on, and fragile individuals, maybe also some kind of craft thing going on here, and a kind of existentialism, life as a balancing act etc etc……and again materials, processes,

using leftovers to propel invention…..also some theater/performance thing going on…… that’s kind of new I think, the figure is actually performing for us)

Then there are the pieces on the walls. I am not sure how much I can fit into the space but here is what I will bring.
A really washed out but quite beautiful painting of a figure like the ones I often do. It’s one of my girlfriend’s favourite paintings and she kind of hoped we could have it at home, but I don’t like to have my own work around me at home. Not sure why. The character is a bit restlessly flapping his arms, and surely he is also ‘waiting for the man’. Maybe it’s a bit to Doig-y but I don’t mind. The cadmium red splatters are not blood and they are intentional, that is, they happened in the process of making the painting and therefore they are intentional. It’s not an accident that happened afterwards. Just in case you were wondering.

(not much there, it’s a painting, it’s either good or bad)

Then there is the ‘small moon man’ as he is referred to in the studio, it’s a ceramic figure stuck unto a small painting which was nothing in itself but now is a lot. It’s where he is. He is referred to as moon man because, well, the moon in the corner, which again is made out of stuff we found in the studio and cut into 1 cm strips. There are probably also bits of old paintings in there.

(ok, so what, you are painting with clay now? Is that some kind of expanded field? A desire to make the flat painting three dimensional? Is that relevant…..?…when does a painting stop being a painting and becomes something else…blah blah blah……and who cares anyway…….)

Then there are the two reliefs, Bent and Ridden, maybe that should have been the title for the show. They are kind of studies for larger works, but they still hold their place I think. The head belongs to one of the “la Mancha” crew that have figured in a couple of works lately. The legs are also actually a detail from the Lost in la Mancha drawings. I guess the distorted twisted legs my characters often have could be read as tree trunks, trunks that are weighed down by the weight of the crown, almost collapsing, as Phoenix in the bisque, gravity is a bitch, yo, and not standing firmly against the wind.

(nothing new…. reference to Quixote and the failed film project……)

There is a third relief that doesn’t have a title yet, it is probably a bit more complex and maybe your favourite of the four? The steel plate with the black lines is an old etching plate, and the fabric of the moon in moon man is now a van Gogh-y haystack in the bottom corner, odd, or as they say in Rectify, my current, but also one of my all-time favourite series:

Is it weird?
It’s not unweird

Like the moon man it has a ceramic figure in the center, embedded in all kinds of craziness.

(same same but different…..)

The last piece, if we can actually fit it in the space somewhere, is the piece ‘Everything. Everyone. Everywhere. Ends’, which has been shown before. Not sure what to say about it without repeating what I already have said. Yes, we cut down all the card, cardboard, linen etc down in 4 cm strips and coiled it around a ceramic slap that originally was meant for something else but didn’t come out of the kiln in one piece, but here it’s been resurrected as the center of the vortex or the head of a coin. Or the centre of the universe. A pretty fucked

up universe. Or simply vertigo. Or it’s some kind of weird astrological map? That Pessoa could have dreamt up.

(ok, we are back…….ok, so vortex and nautical imagery = Poe = A decent into the malmstrom = the barrel that moves upwards and saves the character, he accepts his fate and then he can see clearly what to do to change it…..Pessoa translated Poe into Portuguese……..vortex, vertigo = unstable position, can easily fall over…… astrology = Pessoa…..paganism ……superstition….damned and doomed….bent and ridden………coin = the portrait on coins is of the victorious……but the portrait is shattered……debasement …..broken men……Roman coins, the fall of Rome…..everything ends…….decadence…. waiting for the man, but something will be resurrected from this….Phoenix ………….oh, oh… …..oh, fuck it……..just forget about it, read Pessoa and ask for help…….)

When Paola and I initially spoke about the show she said I should use this opportunity to try some new things out, I am afraid that I didn’t really do that, sorry Paola, except from Ibis, which I do think is a new thing and I think it came out great in the end. As I mentioned above, changes to the piece could happen and surely enough, we spent the whole weekend in Berlin finishing the platform, you might recognize the carpet, and we also made something for him to sit on. Just wait and see. It’s quite good. It’s a sculpture made of five sculptural elements stacked on top of each other. And technically it’s actually a quite complex ceramic piece! I am sure someone will appreciate that if nothing else. Even though he seems a bit adrift in a sea, I think he will be the one pulling the show together.

I wanted to make a big dream catcher for the show, hanging from the ceiling, but it’s difficult to finish something you’re not even sure why you started, but it’s gonna be great when it’s finished.The bird that fell down into my lap after having collided face-on with the window and probably broke its neck just came back from the taxidermist and it will look fantastic on the dreamcatcher. It never knew what hit it, or more precisely, what it hit, but it will be resurrected!!…….. I just hope it’s not a bad omen….

My next show will definitely be about Pessoa and Lisbon. I promise. Unfortunately it will be somewhere else, and that appears to be a big theme in my life, everything always seems to be once removed. A perpetual limbo. Groundhog day. Like Sisyphus. Here comes trouble.”

Peter Linde Busk,

Bellmans, berlin, 13.09.2018 Karise, 19.09.2018

Until november 17th 2018