Age limit: recommended from 13 years.
Warning: in the second room there is a scenario with a war scene, which might seem violent.
Featuring new works by:
Ferdinand Ahm Krag
In collaboration with:
Aarhus Teater (Aarhus)
Kunsthal Aarhus (Aarhus)
Text and production:
Dramaturg, curating and PhD fellow at Aarhus University:
ANDERS THRUE DJURSLEV
Time: 60 min
Information: Show up 15 minutes before the exhibition with a charged mobile phone and a set of headphones suitable for your phone. On your arrival at Kunsthal Aarhus, you will be instructed to log on to a local network ("Museum for the future," code: fremtidskunst), and open the website: museumforfremtiden.dk. You will also be asked to hand in your shoes, as 'Museum for the Future' is to be experienced in socks or bare toes.
Kunsthal Aarhus is proud to present Museum of the Future, an interdisciplinary art project curated by Anders Thrue Djurslev, dramaturg at the teatre Sort/Hvid and PhD fellow at Aarhus University, Kunsthal Aarhus and Sort/Hvid. Danish artists Ferdinand Ahm Krag and Helene Nymann, and the art duo Studio ThinkingHand have created new, ad hoc installations for a carefully staged dramatised exhibition, realised as a collaboration between Kunsthal Aarhus and two of Denmark’s most highly acclaimed theatres, Sort/Hvid and Aarhus Teater. Viewed through the lens of two disciplines, contemporary art, and theatre, the exhibition is the product of an unusual crossover between visual arts, theatre, and academic research concerned with the future.
About the Project
Museum of the Future is simultaneously a visual arts exhibition and a theatre performance, in which visitors become actors. On 1st September 2022, Kunsthal Aarhus welcomes visitors to explore the venue’s ground floor galleries, which are transformed into a unified and cohesive exhibition. In groups, they are invited to traverse a succession of immersive installations and scenographies that revolve around the relationship between past, present, and future. Via headphones, a dramatic narrative voice instructs them how to play an active role in the museum’s artworks, making the story come to life in a dramatic production.
Visual artists Ferdinand Ahm Krag, Helene Nymann and Studio ThinkingHand have developed new installations, each occupying a gallery. Realised in various media, the artworks activate our entire sensory apparatus, presenting alternatives to the ominous visions of the future that infuse our present, marred as it is by the looming threat of the climate crisis. Each artist proposes ways to reimagine our relationship with ourselves, our age and our place in history by reaching back into deep primeval times, intervening in the processes of human biology, and demonstrating how humanity is inextricably entangled with other organisms and life forms. Together, all of the works challenge some of the fundamental contradictions that structure our perception of time and history, and past, present and future.
Hall of Psychopomps (2022) by Ahm Krag lets visitors enter a cult room plastered with drawings of mysterious faces. The drawings establish evolutionary links between humans and animals, geological fossils and icons from human culture, underground landscapes and cosmic formations, in a magical expansion of the various negotiations of identity seen in our present. Nymann’s video Ode to Creode (2022), and the pair of sculptures Ode to Creode X (2022) and Ode to Creode Y (2022), are based on her studies of mnemonic techniques and genetic dynamics throughout history. Together, the sculptures and video engage in reflections on the relationship between genetics and memory, heritage and environment, past and future. Studio ThinkingHand’s installation Vita. Necro. Vita (2022) consists of column-like sculptures made of a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, ‘SCOBY’, which rise out of, and are lowered back into, water-filled basins by motors. With the genderless, hybrid and fluid bodies featured in this artwork, Studio ThinkingHand point to futures where culture and nature, human and non-human, artificial and real, and life and death are closely intertwined.
These artworks have been placed within an overarching framework orchestrated by Sort/Hvid, with dramaturgy by theatre director and playwright Christian Lollike and curator Anders Thrue Djurslev, sound design by Asger Kudahl, and scenographies by Franciska Zahle and Helle Damgård.
An exhibition catalogue (editors: Anders Thrue Djurslev and Mathias Kokholm), published and distributed by Antipyrine, features interviews with the participating artists as well as contributions by Madame Nielsen, Ida Marie Hede, the Centre for Militant Futurology, Boris Groys, Françoise Vergès, Mela Dávila Freire and pop star Tobias Rahim.
About the Artists
Ferdinand Ahm Krag (b. 1977, DK) is an artist and professor at the School of Painting and Pictorial Practices at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen. Solo shows include Root of itself, Gallery Møller Witt, Aarhus (2017); Forcefield Climber, Overgaden, Copenhagen (2015); and Le dejeuner sur l'herbe, IMO, Copenhagen (2013). His work is represented in the collections at SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark, Randers Art Museum, Esbjerg Art Museum and the New Carlsberg Foundation.
Helene Nymann (b. 1982, DK) is an artist and a PhD fellow at the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University (together with Kunsthal Aarhus). Her research project, Memories of Sustainable Futures: Remembering in the Digital Age, received the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s Mads Øvlisen scholarship in recognition of its special potential within the field of practice-based visual art. Nymann is a graduate of the Malmö Art Academy and Goldsmiths College, London. Recent solo shows include Screen-Series, New Museum, New York (2019); Ars Memoria: Memes for Imagination, Kunsthal Aarhus, Aarhus (2019); Round Tower via SixtyEight Art Institute, Copenhagen (2017); INSCRIBED Oh Locus Locus, Fridman Gallery, New York (2017), Le-sous-commun, Berlin (2016).
Studio ThinkingHand is a Danish-Australian artist duo consisting of Rhoda Ting (b. 1985) and Mikkel Dahlin Bojesen (b. 1988). They explore new ways of perceiving nature in collaboration with other-than-human species, such as fungi and bacteria, as well as synthetic materials including concrete and robots. Solo shows include Feral Fetish, Politikens Forhal, Copenhagen (2021); A Foreign Forest, Kunsthal Nord, Aalborg (2021); Entangled Encounters, Munkeruphus, Dronningmølle (2020); FUGUE, Kvit Galleri, Copenhagen (2019); and Amongst Ruins, Wonderland Art Space, Frederiksberg (2018).
About the Curator and Director/Playwright
Anders Thrue Djurslev (b. 1990, DK) is dramaturg at the theatre Sort/Hvid, and a PhD fellow in the Department of Aesthetics & Culture at Aarhus University, together with Kunsthal Aarhus and Sort/Hvid. His PhD is funded by the New Carlsberg Foundation’s Research Initiative on practice-based curating. Previously, Djurslev acted as dramaturg on productions including Lina Hashim’s The Touch (2020), Madame Nielsen and Christian Lollike’s Verdensfrelserinden (2021) and Ida Marie Hede and Niels Erling’s Work Bitch (2021). With Museum of the Future and his PhD project, Djurslev combines his role as dramaturg at the theatre with that of a visual arts curator to investigate how contemporary art and theatre represent time and history.
Christian Lollike (b. 1977, DK) is a playwright and director, and the artistic director of Copenhagen-based theatre Sort/Hvid. He has created a number of acclaimed theatre productions and interdisciplinary works, both in Denmark and abroad. His plays have been translated into several European languages and staged at numerous international venues. Lollike’s work is widely represented in Aarhus at present: the opening of Museum of the Future coincides with the return of his version of Erasmus Montanus to the stage at Aarhus Teater.
Dialogues in connection with Museum for the future
06.09.2022 at 5-6 PM
Beyond the contemporary gaze: visual artist Ferdinand Ahm Krag in conversation with Anders Thrue Djurslev.
15.09.2022 at 5-6 PM
Remembering futures: visual artist Helene Nymann in conversation with Anders Thrue Djurslev.
18.09.2022 at 2-4 PM
Reading with Madame Nielsen and Ida Marie Hede: Catalog celebration in collaboration with Antipyrine for Museum for the future.
20.09.2022 at 5-6 PM
Vinegar mothers' queer futures: artist duo Studio ThinkingHand in conversation with Anders Thrue Djurslev.
Nb: Another event will be announced later on the art gallery's website: kunsthalaarhus.dk