Harm van den Dorpel solo at Verse

Harm van den Dorpel solo at Verse

Harm van den Dorpel solo at Verse

Harm van den Dorpel's solo exhibition Struggle for Pleasure opens Tuesday 30 January at Verse.

THE ARTIST About the exhibition

The title of this exhibition is borrowed from a musical piece released in 1983 by the Belgian composer Wim Mertens, generally positioned in the ‘Minimalist’ tradition.

There are aspects of the composition that I always find myself falling for, even though there are other aspects I find a bit kitschy. In thinking about the ways in which works of art that speak to me can have this dual dimension, one of immediate appeal and a kind of intellectual resistance, the ideas behind this collection began to germinate.

The tropes of musical Minimalism seem familiar at first glance, for example, repetition, or the arpeggio. They are used and they ‘work’.

When listening to a work like Mertens, I find myself liking and resisting the work simultaneously. I don’t want it to work on me, but it does. It is a work that lives up to its title; it is a struggle but a pleasurable one. In thinking about struggling for pleasure in my own visual practice, I felt closest to the concept of the struggle initially. Specifically, how pleasure can often seem suspicious somehow, and why this might be. Working in the digital realm of visual production, there is a kind of rhyming element between the fundamental features of minimalist composition and the minimal units of digital display. Rather like the spare notes played in a musical composition, the rendering of pixels in certain positions and densities create a visual composition which our minds work upon, and which work upon our minds.

Read more here.


Struggle for Pleasure | Harm van den Dorpel

OPENING: Tuesday 30th January 2024
6 - 8pm: Reception evening
7 - 8 pm: In conversation with Victoria Ivanova (R&D Strategic Lead, Serpentine Gallery)

On View
31 January - 4 February 2024
4 Cromwell Place, South Kensington
London SW7 2JE

Publication date: 1 Feb '24