Fall 2009

Opening exhibition:
Collective spirits

Artists: Atelier Bow-Wow (J), Yvette Brackman (US/DK), Kajsa Dahlberg (SE), Nina Beier and Marie Lund (DK/UK) and Søren Martinsen (DK)

In our new exhibition space by Atelier Bow-Wow at Krabbesholm we are happy to present the exhibition ‘Collective Spirits’. The exhibition aims to discuss various new collective forms and work-process in our society today. We constantly live in and are part of communities. Communities are what bring us together and join us in various ways. Krabbesholm Folk High School is one example of a way for a certain time to be together with a common interest. At the present situation in society where we no longer is part of the big traditional communities such as nations, family and unions but we rather orientate us towards temporary political, ideological and working relations across professions, countries and key issues. This change has arisen as consequences of the showdown with traditions, globalization and technologies development and change.

This need to be part of a community for a short period of time has for a long time been the case in the practice of the arts. Here one has always been organized in more or less defined working and common relationships in form of partnerships, schools and collectives in a defined area and across the various art practices. This happens more or less deliberated and often are this kind of collectives clearly defined by the later interest and research in the groups work. In the last decades one see a tendency that artists, designers and architects redefine their practice and orientate across their professional areas towards a wide social praxis. A dematerialization is happening in favour of a social and process orientated engagement that often leads to collective methods and works. The focus is more on the social strategies and functions rather that the space, the practical and the aesthetic.

The exhibiting artists in the show have in various ways been working with the topic and with their works they show different aspects of temporary collectivety: Atelier Bow-Wow has in their art- and architecture practice worked with what they call ‘Micro Public Space’. Here they design objects that invites people to met and interact in new ways in public space. For instance in the White Limousine Yatai – a jigsaw that can accommodate 10 guests for diner and can be placed anywhere. At the exhibition you can see various miniature models and videos from the interventions in public space.

Søren Martinsen has in his video ‘The Burn’ (1998) documented the festival Burning Man that take place every year in the desert of Nevada in USA. The festival is a bizarre mix of nudism and rituals added anarchism and the festival attracts lots of people that travels thousands of kilometres and defies nature for a short period of time to experience a community and an extreme feeling of freedom that are not possible in their stressful everyday life.

In the video installation ‘Framework for a Sanctuary’ (2008) has Kajsa Dahlberg visited and taken part in the Danish women‘s camp ‘Femølejren’. In the video you follow the participants taking down the camp together, while you in the text part follow a discussion between the women about what it means to be part of this camp and some of the main issues when you make a camp restricted only for women. This raises questions such as the relation between taking part of a community and to be outside one, the relationship between the private and the public, about constructions and biology.

Marie Lund and Nina Beier has in their video ‘Reminiscence of a Strike Action’ (2007) asked six participants who are cited as ‘old revolutionaries’ to keep their eyes closed for as long as all their comrades. A paradox project where the collectivism is pushed to its extremes and doomed to fail.

The installation ‘Camp’ (1998) by Yvette Brackman is a chair in may parts where you can see different prints of parts of the body. The so-called chair can be put together in various ways and thereby it is supposed to create imaginations for the viewer of how and how many who can use the chair.

Johanne Løgstrup curates the exhibition together with teaching staff. Collective Spirits is kindly sponsored by Toyota-fonden and the Danish Arts Council Committee for Visual Arts.