Peace, Love and Harmony
Ditte Gantriis Curated by David Dale Gallery Opening: Saturday, 27 February 2016, 4–8pm
27 Feb – 2 Apr 2016

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SALTS is delighted to present Peace, Love & Harmony, the first solo exhibition
in Switzerland by Danish artist Ditte Gantriis curated by David Dale Gallery,
Glasgow. This project is the first chapter of a collaborative exchange between the
two spaces and will develop with a show curated in Glasgow in September 2016.

On a long enough timeline all sentiments are reduced to clichés. This process appears to accelerate daily, no sooner have you thought your thought and it’s considered trite, pastiche. An idea’s ever faster journey toward obsolescence creates a dilemma, how can we ever engage with these ideas, once relevant, that
are neither from a position of cynicism nor philistine. It is a third way that interests
Gantriis, to refer back to these subjects and their journey to cliché from a standing of revitalised sincerity—a tough thing to get on board with, as the audience, though. Sincerity can be undercut at a moment’s notice, can you leave yourself vulnerable to the potential ridicule?

It is in this precarity that Gantriis works, neither denying the potency of the original idea nor disregarding its declawing. Spirituality and lifestyle philosophies become reduced to signifiers, depth becomes surface, and these signifiers expand exponentially—black hole like—to engulf and consume the philosophies they once were a constituent part of. These phrases, symbols and signifiers, now out on their own stand for a sort of collective cultural amnesia, we know what it means, even if it almost doesn’t mean anything. They maintain a certain significance, and have perhaps at one point actually truly meant something, but now the phrase is a caricature that refers more to itself than to the meaning of the words themselves —and it’s impossible not to hear that.

In an increasingly homogenized and corporate culture, we identify our individuality thorough these markers and considerations, the lifestyle choice becomes solely the designated symbol or artisanally styled object, and this style in turn gives the illusion of depth—maybe it’s there maybe it isn’t, but it succeeds in standing in for thought, closing down a capacity for criticality. These clichés grow, unchecked, into caricatures, parodies of themselves—to approach it from a position of genuine openess, that’s the tricky part.

In creating a totality of an environment in which to discuss this, a set or a shrine, Gantriis uses these symbols expansionism against themselves to enable the discourse, the simple turn of too big and too artisanal renders these tropes suddenly visible and separate, suddenly discussible. The Yin Yang symbols, through sheer scale and imposition separate the space from elsewhere, designating it as where we can engage with sentiments on this third plane, the handcrafted (somebody’s hand presumably, not mine, not the artists) artisanal objects are an encouragement to get on board. Peace, Love and Harmony, a decent enough sentiment to reclaim if you think about it.

Max Slaven, Programme Director, David Dale Gallery

Ditte Gantriis (* 1980 Copenhagen, lives and works in Copenhagen).
Recent exhibitions include: The Grove, Hester, New York, 2016; A Rose (solo), Picnic
Picnic, Sheffield, 2015; Trust, curated by Sonia Dermience, Kunsthal Charlottenburg,
Copenhagen, 2015; Women’s Art Society II, curated by Adam Carr, Mostyn,
Llandudno, 2015; Body & Soul (solo), Frutta Gallery, Rome, 2014; Standard (with
Marie-Michelle Deschamps), David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, 2013; Casual Friday
(solo), Peter Amby Gallery, Copenhagen, 2013; Company (solo), Green Is Gold,
Copenhagen, 2012; Service (solo), Toves Galleri, Copenhagen, 2012. Gantriis has
upcoming solo exhibitions at Jupiter Artlands, Edinburgh and Frutta, Rome in 2016.

Love is Eternal

oh yeah /
Half Full Baby /
keep on keeping on (x3)

Now even decorations have ornaments / embellishments have tournaments
you catch me if I fall / but I still stand proud and tall (x2)

Half Full Baby / just maybe
Can the Heart ever be eclipsed
/ with all the stuff its being mixed (with)? (x2)

Now even ornaments have decorations / it’s phony-baloney inspirations
and I am on my knees begging you please
/I know you always catch me if I fall / Keep on keep on / oh yeah
(verse 2)
Half Full Baby / just maybe
Can the Heart ever be eclipsed
/ with all the stuff its being mixed (with)?
Half Empty Baby / just maybe
Can the Heart ever be choked
/ by all the times it has to be cloaked?

(Chorus x2)

Oh yeah / yes / oh yeah
/ yeah / phoney-baloney / no no no no / yeah
/ yes / macaroni /
no / yeah /

oh yeah /

/fade out

List of works, from left to right:
Peace, Love and Harmony (Mural), 2016
Emulsion Paint
319 x 730 x 580 cm

Peace, Love and Harmony (Candlestick), 2016
Turned smoked oak
9 x 9 x 14 cm

Peace, Love and Harmony (Wine Glass), 2016
7 x 7 x 18 cm

Peace, Love and Harmony (Bowl), 2016
Turned wood, coloured sand
16 x 16 x 5 cm

Peace, Love and Harmony (Recorder), 2016
3 x 3 x 33 cm

Peace, Love and Harmony (Lotus Flower), 2016
Blown glass
49 x 26 x 14 cm

Photos: Gina Folly