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Posh Isolation Are Tying the Knot With the Art World

I chatted with them about their new exhibition.

Copenhagen-based duo Christian Stadsgaard and Loke Rahbek (who also plays in Lust For Youth and Vår) started their Posh Isolation label in 2009. Both flinch when I call them successful, but as a vital part of the (moronically dubbed), New Way of Danish Fuck You-scene, plenty of attention has flung their way. So much that they’ve now been asked to present a Posh Isolation take on contemporary art. As their exhibition Contaminate opens tonight with Loke and Christian’s original joint venture Damien Dubrovnik playing live, I thought it was time to catch up before they become even more successful.

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VICE: One day you’re a narrow label putting out limited edition tapes and the next you’re setting up full-on art shows on a more conventional stage, how do you feel about that?
Loke Rahbek: Obviously, this sort of institutionalised platform is a change, but it’s also a chance to see if our universe can make the transition. Whether it will work at all. It’s not the usual gritty basement-type venue with lukewarm beers, although, you’ll probably be able to get your hands on a lukewarm beer tonight as well.
Christian Stadsgaard: Yeah, but having 300 square metres at our disposal, it’s quite different compared to the constraints of a vinyl or a tape, this place is absolutely magnificent.

But from an artistic standpoint, are you not worried about emerging from the underground? I mean, Posh Isolation is literally located in a basement.
Christian: We don’t romanticise that whole underground image and it holds no value in itself. The more the merrier actually, but we just want to be able to control how it’s presented.
Loke: Exactly, the aesthetics are the foundation, so as long as we dictate the framework, it doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s a welcomed change, because we often get the feeling that we are just presenting stuff to our friends and vice versa, which can feel a bit stale at times.

Can you talk us through the exhibition, like, what is happening tonight?
Christian: We’ll be doing a Damien Dubrovnik performance and, the idea is, that it’s recorded – on tape – and subsequently looped, so it becomes a permanent part of the exhibition for the duration.

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I saw a video from a Damien Dubrovnik show with Loke being baptised in water cascading down a naked dude’s body. Can we expect more of that tonight?
Loke: Yeah, that was Tao, he’ll be part of tonight’s show as well and there will be fluids, but in a different form.

Yeiks! But what’s with all the ropes and knots?
Christian: There’s a maritime theme. The posh part of our name has a suggested maritime etymology – port out, starboard home – and Dubrovnik is a port city, so when we were approached about doing this, we thought it was a logical place to start.

With this exhibition, as well as being an integral part of a scene that spawned bands like Iceage and Lower, you still don’t like the word successful?
Christian: I’m a fair bit older than Loke, he was only 16 when we set up Posh Isolation and started presenting all this music that was being played. There wasn’t really anyone doing that at the time.
Loke
:
Yeah, that type of success maybe. I remember the idea of putting out an album seemed very abstract to me, but as it turns out, you can actually just do it and now loads of people are doing that, so that’s great, but if we make and sell a 100 tapes, it’s hardly a commercial success.

Posh Isolation’s exhibition Contaminate opens Friday, April 19, 17-22 PM at Overgaden Institut for Samtidskunst in Copenhagen, Denmark and runs until April 29.

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