Artwork. Childish Behavior by Ole Tersløse Jensen at Viborg, Denmark. From February 1 to March 1 2014. Nbex project – Nb Gallery.
At first, “Childish Behavior” sounds very condescending. The child must learn to “behave” – to act with consideration and responsibility in social settings, so its spontaneity does no “harm anyone”.
In Ole Tersløse’s series of images “Childish Behavior” the harm has befallen the children themselves. The series is made up of five large lambdaprints (160 x 103 cm) and shows children that have been stuffed into readily available pots. In some images the heads stick out, in others hands or feet. All the images are constructed in 3D computer programs without any use of photographic material.
“Childish Behavior” has a clear reference to the Swedish artist Nathalia Edenmont, who shows body parts of mutilated cats in similar arrangements.
Edenmont, however, is a traditional photographer who takes photos of a part of reality. She is dependent on the real and is therefore also ethically limited since there are limits to what she can get away with. It is just acceptable because the cat’s families don’t have the option of seeking legal assistance, but it would never have been possible with children!
Ole Tersløse’s children are not real children, but computer simulacra. There are no mothers or fathers who lose their offspring because of Ole’s artistic work; because everything he creates is constructed in a digital parallel world.
Even though “Childish Behavior” at first seems like some form of a baroque artistic fantasy, it is not without some serious comments to the reality we all know and share.
Anyone can see it is amoral and childish (rather than innocently childish) to “cut a child” so he or she fits into a vase. But to “cut our children” in a metaphorical sense, so they become the fancy things we like to boast about to neighbors, family or friends is something we constantly do.
The child is never free. It is dependent on the support of the grown-ups and must therefore accept the limiting rules of the grown up’s game. We have all tried to be a child in a vase we found to be too small for us.
Viewed in that light, the “Childish Behavior” series is not just an amusing experiment. However grotesque the still-life’s are, and however beautifully idealized the children’s faces appear, the series is a testimony to the fact that computer-simulations rarely lose reference to the real. The simulations rather create a “slanted” view of the world we know, so that relationships we thought we knew in and out become depicted in a new light and in a new way.
Artist website: http://www.terslose.dk/