Every spring, Kunsthal Aarhus presents the annual MFA degree show, exhibiting works by the artists graduating from the Jutland Art Academy. For visitors, this is a special opportunity to explore what is going on in the burgeoning, professional art scene. This year, the degree show is strongly affected by the worldwide COVID-19 crisis. The crisis has shut down most of the country, including its educational institutions, museums and art galleries. Responding to this situation, the degree show has been radically reinvented – it is no longer a traditional exhibition held in the lower galleries of Kunsthal Aarhus as usual; instead, the works can be safely viewed by the public in the venue’s windows and on the outer walls inside its courtyard.
The exhibition has been given the title 2020. An apt title for a year that has already become far more than a number; 2020 has become a mood. Changeability and new formats have become the hallmarks of this exhibition, just as they have come to typify the spring of 2020.
The seven graduating students will each exhibit their works separately for six days. Beginning on 8 May 2020 and for the next seven weeks, every Friday will see a new exhibition presented at Kunsthal Aarhus. The seven exhibitions will comprise a wide range of media: from paintings to video works to installations.
With this exhibition, Kunsthal Aarhus gives the graduating artists professional input on their work as well as an institutional platform in which to show their art. For many of the artists, this constitutes their first encounter with the logic and structure of an art institution, and in turn they prompt us to view these structures with fresh eyes. At Kunsthal Aarhus, we regard this as a special privilege: having the opportunity to present the degree show and collaborate with new artists who are taking the next step in their professional endeavours.
The exhibition is accompanied by two other new initiatives never before seen at these degree shows: the graduating artists have created a special supplement to be published in the newspaper Århus Stiftstidende, and will also have the opportunity to take over the website www.kunsthalaarhus.dk. The special supplement contains a conversation between the students and the public debater and radio host Ayşe Dudu Tepe as well as identikit/composite sketches of the students' works. Every week, the home page of the Kunsthall's website is taken over by one of the seven graduates, presenting additional works that chime in with those found at Kunsthal Aarhus.
The exhibition is curated by Anna Weile Kjær.
In the video work Jeg er en kniv i din strube, jeg er sværdet ved din side, jeg er tænderne omkring dig (2020), Luna Lund Jensen’s drawn animations appear before us, enacting snippets of action detached from their wider context
Frederik Rønde Sørensen’s canvases are often imbued with a silence so deep it almost shouts out to you. They have the appearance of exercises seeking to determine just how narrow and restricted the concept behind a painting can be. The paintings oscillate in a state of constant negotiation
In recent years, Eliyah Mesayer has created a nation called Illiyeen;
For 2020, Max Gam Iversen has created pictures of nature that comprise a series of landscape paintings as well as a ready-made sculpture. The subject matter of the paintings comes across as fluid and blurred
Exhibition period: 05.06.–10.06.2020
Exhibition period: 12.06.–17.06.2020
Exhibition period: 19.06.–24.06.2020