Torben Ribe


Torben Ribe’s work features a 12-meter-long black wire mounted at a right angle following the lines of the base and side of the building, with the end cut off at the middle of the wall. It might be the half-hearted attempt of a builder to complete an assignment and initially makes us think: “Is it supposed to be like that?” But on closer inspection, the wall is covered in transparent red, green, blue and purple pastel colors, with an overpainted sign saying “Strandstræde” placed below the official white-and-blue street sign, emphasizing the underlying aesthetic intent. A thin layer of glitter completes the whole, making the work shine when the light strikes it.

In this work the artist has implemented an alternative aesthetics — a recurring theme in his artistic production. The banalities of everyday life and the “ugly” or ordinary, such as wires and electrical outlets, are moved into art in an attempt to shift viewers’ ideas of what usually constitutes good and bad taste. Ribe has created a work which —like life— is imperfect, crooked and “ugly”, yet shimmeringly poetic.

b. 1978 in Hobro, lives and works in Vordingborg.