September 4, 2019 - Kunsthall Trondheim - Pia Arke: Wonderland / Anna Daniell: CONFERENCE
September 4, 2019

Kunsthall Trondheim

Left: © Anna Daniell. Right: Pia Arke: Nuugaarsuk / Pinhole Camera Photograph / The Point, 1990. Photography series of four images from pinhole camera. Loan from Brandts – Museum of Art and Visual Culture, Odense.

Pia Arke: Wonderland
Anna Daniell: CONFERENCE
September 5–November 10, 2019

Opening: September 5, 6:30–11pm, talk on Pia Arke, with Erik Gant (Film historian and Pia Arke’s brother) and Katrine Elise Pedersen (Assistant curator, Kunsthall Trondheim)

Kunsthall Trondheim
Kongens gate 2
7011 Trondheim
Hours: Wednesday–Saturday 1–5pm

T +47 485 00 100

Anna Daniell: CONFERENCE
The Norwegian artist Anna Daniell explores possible relationships between people and art objects in contemporary life. She creates staged situations between audience and art, in order to turn on its head, the usual perspective of objects merely being something of our creation and use, and not something which affects, helps and shapes us.

Sculptures have, throughout human history, been objects which could grant access to realities beyond that attainable for humans. These are the kind of folklore traditions which inspires Anna Daniell when she creates situations in which her sculptures can meet an audience. Whether the sculptures are hers, or she is theirs, is, however, unclear. In an interview, she states that “I feel as though I am an employee of my sculptures. That it is they who have a career.” Consequently, the sculptures have a life of their own, whilst still being a part of our world. They work this peculiar balancing act of meaning, between a subjective human world and an objective material world.

In the praxis of Anna Daniell the stories given to the sculptures are partly secret or hidden from the audience and therefore subjective. We never know the whole story of what happened when the sculpture was in somebody’s home, or which secrets were whispered to it. Accordingly, the sculptures, on the one hand, have a material and objective outer side and an almost subjective inner side. 

The praxis of Anna Daniell challenges us because it runs counter to our rational ideals that a thing is a thing, yet, all the same, it connects to something well known, but irrational; our emotional dependence on objects.

Thanks to Galleri Brandstrup and Grieg Kapital AS for loan of works to the exhibition.

Anna Daniell (b. 1978) is based in Oslo, and has had a number of exhibitions, national and international, and done public commissions, lectured and participated in different artist residencies. In 2017 she participated in Norwegian Sculpture Biennal and had a solo show at Podium, Oslo. Daniell received Civitella Ranieri Foundation’s Fellowship in 2018. In addition to her show at Kunsthall Trondheim, in 2019–20 she participates in Oslobiennalen First Edition 2019–2024.

Pia Arke: Wonderland
Kunsthall Trondheim is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of the Danish-Greenlandic artist Pia Arke (1958–2007) in Norway. The exhibition, with the title Wonderland, shows photographs and film works spanning the period 1990 to 2005.

The relationship between Denmark and Greenland, and their shared history, is at the heart of Pia Arke’s artistic work, in particular an investigation into the ways in which the western presence, through systematic mapping and scientific research, has shaped Greenlandic identity. She posed questions related to how history is created and to whom it belongs, and what ethnicity entails. The history of Denmark’s colonial past on Greenland has not been well known internationally and was rarely talked about. The Greenlandic side was also silent on the subject, as this part of their history was seen as shameful. Pia Arke wished to break the silence which characterised the history of Denmark and Greenland, which she herself had been born into. For the artist, this was also a matter of recuperating history, for what are we, if we are not permitted to own our memories, our history?

The exhibition title, loaned from the work Wonderland (1996)points to the arctic landscape as a symbol of resources and prosperity, as seen through the international interests which the western presence was a result of. The title also points to the arctic landscape as a site haunted by memories of childhood, the idea of home, and identity. The landscape is the backdrop and the starting point of the relationship between Denmark and Greenland, and it is changed and recreated according to who is given voice to narrate.

Thanks to Søren Arke Petersen and the Estate of Pia Arke, Copenhagen, Natascha Bondo Bjørn, Brandts – Museum of Art and Visual Culture, Odense, Erik Gant, Anders Jørgensen, Kuratorisk Aktion (Frederikke Hansen and Tone Olaf Nielsen), the Danish Embassy in Oslo and LIAF – Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway.

Pia Arke (b. 1958, Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland–d. 2007) lived and worked in Copenhagen, and is recognised as one of the Nordic region’s most important postcolonial thinkers.


Related programs

Sápmi Pride: Performance with Niilas Helander
September 12, 6–8pm
"the maps of spring always has to be drawn again in undared form" 

Talk: Pablo DeSoto, "Resist as Forest"
September 13, 6:30–8pm
Organized in collaboration with NTNU ARTEC

Film screening: One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, Isuma
September 16, 6:30–9pm
Organized in collaboration with the Bastard festival 2019 and Prof. Susanne M. Winterling 

Kunsthall Trondheim
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