Running Box, John Korner, Konsthall 16. Foto Johann Bergenholtz

About Running Box by John Kørner

Sidan uppdaterades: 8 december 2022

With an open approach to the traditions of art, Kørner has long been creating paintings, sculptures, prints and veritably scenographic installations that both amuse and challenge the viewer. These pieces are often presented in complex installations or stage sets, as part of a larger context, where we as visitors are integrated with the work.


May 29 - September 2019

About Running Box

By creating new contexts for his works, and how he communicates about contemporary art in general and his own practice in particular, Kørner explores ways of dealing with the challenge of making art that is relatable to a large public. The visitors are an essential part of the exhibition, more important than the artist himself, he explains. The theme of the exhibition often springs from a political or social issue, but creating the works remains an intuitive process.

The exhibition title – Running Box – refers to a few recurring themes in Kørner’s practice. One of these is time and our subjective approach to it. How do we live our lives, and how do we relate to the passing of time? Three paintings show anonymous runners moving towards or away from us. A couple of them appear against a bright yellow background that seems to practically engulf the characters. The runners serve as metaphors for the ubiquitous acceleration that the artist observes in society, expressing the perpetual desire for things to move faster. Kørner’s installation embraces the custom-made carpet with numbered running lanes, inviting us to move, but also to reflect on the paths we choose in life, where we encounter obstacles along the way. One of the lanes is similarly blocked by a high concrete barrier of the kind used to stop traffic. But a further couple of runners have been painted on this barrier. The sense of being on a predetermined path is accentuated by a site-specific forced-perspective mural that guides our vision into an endless corridor. The “Box” in the title refers to the physical boxes that encase us – our homes and workplaces, and, of course, the white box of the art space – and the mental boxes that can confine our own minds. Kørner explores the box metaphorically and physically, and how it relates to painting.

The exhibition also includes Problems, egg-like figures that have been recurring features ever since Kørner was at the Academy in Copenhagen, and which serve as allegories for the human condition and its challenges. Initially appearing in his paintings, they eventually stepped from the canvas into the room and assumed their rightful three-dimensional shape. Each one is unique, made of various materials, and they have featured in numerous situations. Big and small problems are unavoidable in life, but they need not be a negative thing. Problems along the way can be catalysts for creativity. Trials, by nature, prompt us to look for solutions, and focusing on problems is a vital task for contemporary art.

Last but not least, parts of the exhibition encourage participation. The high counter of Gym Bar requires physical exertion from its guests to achieve its purpose. Only very tall people like the artist can reach the counter without having to climb up the wall bars on the front. Apart from offering an element of surprise and entertainment, it comments in this context on the strange and paradoxically problematic relationship between sports and alcohol consumption, two phenomena that should not belong together but are often intimately linked in connection with major sports events.

By appropriating sports imagery, John Kørner creates an integrated totality that engages us on several levels. The exhibition comments on the role of sports in society as a social phenomenon that influences the economy, politics and our bodies, and raises social and existential issues of time, movement and art and how we interact with each other and ourselves in everyday events.

Our warm thanks to John Kørner and Julie Boserup at his studio, and to Galleri Bo Bjerggaard and Victoria Miro for their constructive and helpful collaboration!

You are invited to move around in and be moved by John Kørner’s Running Box.

Ulrika Levén, curator

From the exhibition

Running Box, John Korner, Konsthall 16. Foto Johann Bergenholtz
Running Box, John Korner, Konsthall 16. Foto Johann Bergenholtz
Running Box, John Korner, Konsthall 16. Foto Johann Bergenholtz
Running Box, John Korner, Konsthall 16. Foto Johann Bergenholtz
Running Box, John Korner, Konsthall 16. Foto Johann Bergenholtz

Sidan publicerades: 8 december 2022