02 Sep 2003, in English, published in Artforum.com
08.30.03-09.24.03 Galleri Nordenhake, Stockholm
A Jonathan Monk drawing with the poetically kitschy title You are always alone in the cinema is the stated inspiration for Jan Christensen's first solo exhibition, which consists of a single work—an oversize wraparound wall painting. The irony, of course, is that Monk himself is known for his homages to the artists who inspire him. Christensen's tribute to Monk seems like a joking attempt to neutralize the anxiety of influence, and perhaps it's worked: His debts to Franz Ackermann's urban phantasmagoria and the late Michel Majerus's room-filling pop provocations are cheerfully undisguised. But Christensen also stakes out his own territory, where a certain melancholy emerges unexpectedly from sleek, mod imagery in candy colors. Brightly hued renderings of celluloid film unfurl along the walls; a copy of Monk's drawing (which shows a lonely figure with his back to the viewer) occupies one frame, while other figures and groupings are sequestered in their own celluloid squares. As you puzzle over Christensen's fractured narrative, it's difficult not to get the point: Feast your eyes, but remember that you're always alone in the gallery.