- Artist: Hilmar Fredriksen
- Creation date: (1979)
- Object type: Installation
Hilmar Fredriksen originally submitted Communication Piece to the annual Autumn Exhibition in 1979, but the work was rejected. In a text that has since become incorporated into the work, the artist explains his intentions: “Communication Piece is about mutual dependence between two persons: the introvert and the extrovert. The introvert sits inside the carriage without being able to move; he looks out through a slit, seeing but unable to act. The extrovert enjoys full mobility, but wears opaque glasses that reflect the surroundings, providing only a superficial image, a mirror reflection. A shared desire for movement creates mutual dependence.”
The design of the work is simple and ascetic, yet with a certain elegance. Likewise, the choice of material for the body of the carriage – plywood – expresses simplicity and perhaps a certain lightness as well. Halfway between a box and an ancient Egyptian mummy coffin, Fredriksen’s carriage shares a formal kinship with early modernist painting and other forms of design. This simplicity, which creates an impression of formal clarity, seems to contrast with the idea being expressed by the work. For in developing the communicative tension between the work’s two “protagonists”, the artist instead veers towards mysticism, where normal, rational procedures become complicated and partially immobilized.
For Fredriksen, conceptual art became a vital impulse in the late 1970s. It served as a lodestar that led him to re-evaluate what art could be and as a correction to inveterate romantic and expressionist notions of art and the role of the artist.