E.B. Itso’s practice often deals with neglected or overlooked spaces in and around the city, and the relationship between the densely populated parts of society and rural areas. He has a special interest in people living off the common grid – people and locations in the periphery and the roads less traveled. By investigating the intersection of primitivism and contemporary culture E.B. Itso highlights the underworld that exists in any city and country, thus giving the people and places in the corners of society a rare voice. In his works there is a human engagement that transgresses registration, a fascination with the mundane and overlooked, and a care for the strange and hidden. In E.B Itso’s practice there is an implicit social critique, he questions the dominant perception of what formulates a good life and a sustainable society. Besides urban constructions E.B. Itso also works within the field of film, photography and installations, combining these expressions with explorative journeys, far or near.
All images courtesy: the artist
Allotria, Mardin #1 2022.
Print on fabric, variable dimensions.
The focal point of this work is the area Den Sorte Firkant (The Black square) in Nørrebro, Copenhagen and the traces left by the BZ (occupiers) movement from the 1980s. With the dream of a freer life, the right to self-determination and the need to find cheap housing, young BZs occupied several houses in the area, known as Little Feather, Snow White, Bazooka and Allotria, among others. Most spectacular was the escape from Allotria in Korsgade, where a group of BZs secretly fled the house through a tunnel they had dug under the street, when a 1000 police officers surrounded them. At the house, the BZs had hung a banner with the words: We decide for ourselves when we want to fight. The present iteration marks a symbolic return to this moment in time.
KØBENHAVN H, 2007-08.
Documentation of a project by Adam Kraft and EB Itso, 18 minutes.
E.B. Itso’s works take us to derelict or neglected spaces in and around the city. He has a special interest in people living off the grid, peripheral locations, and roads less-travelled. By investigating the intersection of primitivism and contemporary culture, E.B. Itso brings attention to the teaming undercommons. His works feature human engagement that transgresses registration, a fascination with the mundane and the overlooked, and a care for the strange and hidden. At the heart of Itso’s practice is a social critique that questions the dominant perceptions around what constitutes a good life and a sustainable society.
The film KØBENHAVN H. documents a makeshift home crafted by the artist and his collaborator in the interstitial fold of Copenhagen Central Station. Working undetected in the idle hours between the last and the first train (2:00 – 4:00 am), it took them almost a year to finish.