November 6, 2015 - Laznia Centre For Contemporary Art - Nielsen & Johnsen and Influences
November 6, 2015

Nielsen & Johnsen and Influences

Hanne Nielsen & Brigit Johnsen, Drifiting, 2015. Video.

Nielsen & Johnsen

October 10–November 22,  2015

December 4, 2015–January 17, 2016

Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art
Jaskolcza 1 Str
80-767 Gdansk

T +48 58 305 40 50

Nielsen & Johnsen: Drifting

Nielsen & Johnsen are among the forerunners of Danish video art. In their works they take up social and political subjects, deconstruct them and reorganize from anew. They emphasise alternative manners of constructing stories, exploring methods of structuring public discourse, the official versus the private. They are intrigued by the value of a piece of “news,” which may only be topical here and now. 

The exhibition Drifting focuses on the topic of the Other, expelled beyond the borders of the system—a person functioning on the margin, on the limits of generally accepted norms and rules. Going back to an event from 2006, when a man was found drifting in the Skaggerak, the artists ask a number of existential questions, which seem extremely topical today—almost 10 years later, supplemented by current developments. The story of the rescued castaway highlights the situation of people who form part of the system yet lack representation and remain silent. Suffice it to broaden our perspective in order to see the tragedy of thousands of others, who—like the title “castaway”—are drifting on the sea of hatred, despair and insecurity. Their story is the sum of problems and questions of the day: history, geopolitics, violence, and private interests. 

In the frames of the exhibition, another important oeuvre of the duo—Camp Kitchen—is also on show. This,  one of their latest and most politically involved videos, is both humorous and deeply painful. It features a kitchen with two neatly dressed women performing household chores. The meditative and nostalgic images transport us to an innocent world which soon turns into a battlefield, literally and metaphorically. Images drawn from daily news broadcasts invade the peaceful interior of the kitchen, wreaking havoc.
Curated by: Aleksandra Księżopolska  

This exhibition is generously supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, the Danish Cultural Institute in Warsaw and the Culture Fund of the Municipality of Aarhus.

Featuring South and Central American video artists Alejandra Alarcón (Bolivia), Bernardita Bennett (Chile), Rafael Guendelman (Chile), Nicholas Petrus (Brazil), Julio González (Bolivia), Karlo Andrei Ibarra (Puerto Rico), Jo Muñoz (Chile) and Fernando Ossandón (Chile)

In recent years the content of audio-visual images within the exhibition programmes inform us of processes, stories and transcultural experiences which are defined, in part, as exotic and unique material. Assuming, therefore, that these are neither part of daily life nor the local landscape, we tend to observe them with suspicion.

At first glance, much of what we do not want to see or reanalyse is simply the product of educational instructions acquired from social norms that we have accepted and the linguistic structures in which we interact.

But what happens when a pair of images contradicts what others have already preconceived about places, races and symbols?

Curated by: Rodolfo Andaur

Influences is part of the long-term project titled “Cities on the edge.” The political nature of art has been the focus of the series of exhibitions in the frames of the project. A large number of the displayed works have been regarded as an instrument of struggle for the freedom of an individual situated on the edge. Consecutive exhibitions have presented art from the edge, from places drowned in conflicts and facing social problems, including Beirut, Teheran, Bogota, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Havana.

They have all attempted to provide a different perspective, going beyond the stereotypical, Eurocentric perception rooted in tourist postcards or television news broadcasts. Lack of images presenting conflicts and binary divisions has created a possibility to analyse universal questions.

Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art presents Nielsen & Johnsen and Influences
Laznia Centre For Contemporary Art
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