Matias Faldbakken | the artist

The artist Matias Faldbakken
Pseudonym: Abo Rasul
Born 1973, Hobro, Denmark.
Lives and works in Oslo, Norway, .

Style and technique of the artist: Installation art, Sydney Biennale, Venice Biennale,

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Matias Faldbakken is fascinated with systems of knowledge, of power, order and exchange. He is interested in how art and artists can be active participants in these systems, and uses text to highlight their influence. Faldbakken has written two novels under the pseudonym Abo Rasul (Macht und Rebel and The Cocka Hola Company). These highlight the differences and similarities of the so-called underground and the mainstream, and between the ‘independent’ and the ‘commercial’ in everyday life - subjects that are central to Faldbakken’s recent art practice.

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Faldbakken studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Bergen as well as at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. In 2005, he represented Norway in the Nordic Pavillion at the Venice Biennial, as well as showing his work amongst others in the Wrong Gallery at the Whitney Biennial, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the National Museum Oslo, the Sydney Biennial and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin…

Faldbakken has also been forging unlikely alliances between conceptual usages of language with more vernacular gestures of vandalism and appropriation. His output has been exceedingly diverse, having worked in video, wall painting, sculpture, installation, and photography. Earlier bodies of work have focused on a range of topics including: counterfeit “supernotes”, political graffiti, celebrity suicides, and the entertainment industry. Yet throughout this oeuvre there is a unifying and subversive humor that heightens the tension between the rational and the absurd…