Nikolaj B. S. Larsen’s work is often made in close relation to people or places. When he was invited to participate in Al-Ma'mal's artist-in-residence program in 2006, he started to think of ways to portray Jerusalem as the world’s spiritual, religious and political epicentre and proposed to use the opportunity to produce Mystic Truths. He used for initial reference Bruce Nauman’s spiraling neon piece in which he wrote: "The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths".
From his work in the artist-in-residency program, Larsen produced a two-part project called Mystic Truths. The first part is comprised of a daily visual diary of short video clips which can be seen as semi-visual poems that explore different aspects of daily life in and around Jerusalem. Larsen uploaded twenty short video clips to a dedicated to his project. Viewed together, the clips give a multifaceted perception of the complexity of life in Palestine. The second part of Mystic Truths is a 30 minute documentary film by the same name.
Nikolaj Larsen was born in Denmark, 1971 before moving to London, where he obtained his BA (Hons.) in Sculpture from Chelsea College of Art and his MA in Fine Art Media from the Slade School of Fine Art. He now lives and works in London. Larsen’s projects occupy a space between fine art and documentary filmmaking. They are often results of artist residencies and commissions by arts institutions and international exhibitions. His work is politically engaged but sees the topics from personal point of views of the individuals and communities he depicts. Recently Larsen's works have dealt with migration - most notably the critically acclaimed projects ‘Promised Land’, commissioned by Folkestone Trienial 2011, UK; 'Ode to the Perished' (2011), commissioned by Thessaloniki Biennale 3; and 'Rendezvous' (2009), commissioned by Sharjah Biennial 9.
Exhibitions and projects include his solo exhibitions ‘Promised Land – Redux’, Dilston Grove, London (upcoming - 2013); ‘Lifeline’, Peckham Space, London (Up coming 2012),‘Promised Land’, Galerie Vanessa Quang, Paris (upcoming - 2012); ‘Do Not Use’, Revolver Galeria, Lima, Peru (2010); ‘Contes de la peripherie’, Maison du Danemark, Paris (2010); ‘Rolling In’, Volta, New York (2010); ‘Control Wanted’, Galerie Vanessa Quang, Paris (2008); ‘Rising Floating Falling’, Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg, Denmark (2004). Group shows include ‘Thessaloniki Biennale’, Greece (2011); ‘Changing Stakes: Contemporary Art Dialogues With Dubai’, Mercer Union Gallery, Toronto (2011), ‘Folkestone Triennial 2011’, England; ‘Delfina Foundation Presents The Spacemakers’, Tent Gallery, Edinburgh; ‘Sharjah Biennial 9’, Sharjah (2009); ‘Distant Relations’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark (2007), ‘The Jerusalem Show’ (2007), ‘About Time’, Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg, Denmark (2007), ‘Une vision du monde’, La Maison Rouge, Paris (2006); ‘Sharjah Biennial 6’, Sharjah (2003). Larsen has done residencies at Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico, USA, Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem, Sharjah Biennial 7, U.A.E.