BRAIN II-V is the Danish artist’s first solo exhibition in a U.S. museum, and it’s a doozy. It is constructed of several sets of transparent plastic walls set out in a labyrinthine pattern through the gallery, and viewers can wander through them. Along the way they find a variety of disparate objects hanging on these walls: framed drawings and photos; a paint-spattered work coat; a one-way mirror; cryptic notebook pages (one contains a small map of central Berlin sketched by the artist); a painting that still reeks of wet enamel. According to curator Jacob Proctor, the work is “an allegory of the mind of the artist himself,” something like an imaginary exhibit of bits and pieces gathered from Møller’s life and artistic preoccupations.
It’s a gimmicky conceit, for sure, but Møller pulls it off—mainly because the details he’s chosen are so evocative and precise. Take the two shelves of objects on one wall. The wooden blocks carved into Tetris forms refer to one of Møller’s earlier works; a bowl of European model toy cars speaks perhaps to some boyhood obsession (or maybe an allusion to the expense of owning a car in Denmark, where registration rates are exorbitant?); the volume by Villy Sørenson, the Danish hero of modernist prose, clearly touches on Møller’s interest in the history of modernism.