A Life World. Installations by Ilya & Emilia Kabakov (Morning, Evening, Night: a giant installation, built in the large interior of the former church. As a Chinese box system, the world of the imagination is visualised as layers on layers of levels of reality) and Joseph Kosuth (Recognizable Differences and Andersen Self-Described: the fairy tale The Emperor's New Clothes has been woven into a carpet, as has a selection of quotes by S. Kierkegaard which are a subtext to the fairy tale). Both work with themes such as memory and identity, language and existence - which were also significant to the writer.
A Life World. Installations by Ilya & Emilia Kabakov and Joseph Kosuth
Two of the most prominent artists within contemporary art enter into a dialogue with Hans Christian Andersen at Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center. Both are pioneering artists within today's art, and at the same time their current works function as a living reference point for young artists. The artists are the Russian/American artist couple Ilya & Emilia Kabakov and the American artist Joseph Kosuth. Both have previously exhibited in Denmark; but this is the first time there is an opportunity to see new works made specifically for an exhibition in a Danish context.
Both the Kabakovs and Kosuth work with themes such as memory and identity, language and existence - themes which were also significant to Hans Christian Andersen. Joseph Kosuth was one of the main figures in the 1960's as the groundwork was laid for conceptual art and has ever since occupied an almost mythical position within visual art. This also applies to the Russian Soviet-born Ilya & Emilia Kabakov who ever since leaving for the West have been creating their magical installations which have fascinated art audiences and colleagues alike. As conceptually working artists both the Kabakovs and Kosuth are concerned with the visualisation of abstract matters; but whereas Kosuth works in the cross field between word and image in a clear, conceptualist idiom, the Kabakovs' universe is one of memory and imagination, brought to life through the stagings of spaces and objects.
Ilya & Emilia Kabakov: Morning, Evening, Night
Ilya & Emilia Kabakovâ€™s work Morning, Evening, Night is a giant installation, built in the large interior of the former church. As a Chinese box system with rooms within rooms and with a condensed fairy tale core, the world of the imagination is visualised as layers on layers of levels of reality, moving from from the outer world of everyday life into the magical core. This work invites a dialogue with both body, vision and imagination, all of which are sent on a journey into the archetypal fairy tale universe.
Ilya & Emilia Kabakov can currently be seen at exhibitions in Berlin, at the Akademie der KÃ¼nste, and in London, at Tate Modern where they participate in the large exhibition Open Systems: Rethinking Art c. 1970.
Joseph Kosuth: Recognizable Differences and Andersen Self-Described
Joseph Kosuthâ€™s work Recognizable Differences literally presents an opportunity to wander about in Andersen's intellectual universe. Recognizable Differences's form of presentation is a giant carpet, covering all of Nikolaj's Upper Gallery. The fairy tale The Emperor's New Clothes has been woven into the carpet, as has a selection of quotes by SÃ¸ren Kierkegaard which are a subtext to the fairy tale. As it is generally known, Kierkegaard was a fierce critic of Andersen's work; and what Kosuth does is to refute this criticism by using Kierkegaard's own words, and the carpet thus unfolds as a birthday present to Hans Christian Andersen, which provides the basis for a recognition from SÃ¸ren Kierkegaard that he always wanted.
Kosuth's second work is a neon work consisting of two parts, inside and outside the tower respectively. This work relates to Hans Christian Andersen's replies to the many questions in a visitor's book concerning his preferences within all aspects of life, and it thus serves as a kind of self portrait. The questions can be found inside the tower, and Andersen's replies will shine over the city from the outside of Nikolaj's distinctive tower.
Joseph Kosuth is also represented at major international exhibitions at the moment, viz. the Basels Art Fair, â€˜The Material of Ornamentâ€™, Querini Stampalia Foundation, Venedig, â€˜Twice Definedâ€™, Miyagi Prefectual Library, Japan and a 120 meter floorwork in the new German Parliament.
In their meeting with Andersen, the artists engage in an exchange which transcends a specific discourse and history and which expresses itself as an exploration of the richness of language, of metaphors and a shared cultural language. These are key elements to be found both in Andersenâ€™s universe and in those of contemporary artists.
In connection with the exhibition, a catalogue will be published with articles and interviews by Fiona Biggiero, Elisabeth Delin Hansen, Carsten Juhl, Sanna Marander and Ann Lumbye SÃ¸rensen about the artists and their Andersen projects, as well as with sections edited by the artists themselves which function as an elaboration in words and pictures of their projects. Since the catalogue will furthermore feature photos documenting the works of the exhibition which will be installed right up until the opening, it will not be available on that occasion but will be produced as soon as possible thereafter. Already now, however, it is possible to order the catalogue and have it sent when it is published.
The exhibition has been curated by freelance curator and senior lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, Ann Lumbye SÃ¸rensen, MA.
The exhibition will subsequently be shown at the Reykjavik Museum of Art.
Opening on Friday June 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. The artists will be present.
Ilya & Emilia Kabakov will give a lecture on their works on Thursday June 16 at 5 p.m. at the Schools of Visual Arts of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, the Auditorium, 2, Peder Skrams Gade, in the yard to your left lift to 3B (Auditorium). Arranged by Ann Lumbye SÃ¸rensen and Henrik B. Andersen.
Press photos and additional information: please contact Christina Helvad on t: (+45) 33931626 or e: email@example.com
Nikolaj's collaborators: The Danish Arts Council's Committee for International Visual Art The Fund for Art and Culture, City of Copenhagen
The artists' collaborators:
The exhibition is a part of Hans Christian Andersen 2005: Hans Christian Andersen 2005 aims at promoting the awareness and image of Hans Christian Andersenâ€™s life and work in celebration of the bicentennial of the storytellerâ€™s birth in 2005. The celebration will feature a great many projects within film, TV, literature, theatre, opera, dance, multimedia, rhythmic and classic music, entertainment, visual art, museum exhibitions and education and tourism. The stated aim is that as many people as possible world-wide â€“ children and adults alike â€“ will gain a greater and deeper understanding of the author. In 2005, the world-wide celebration of Hans Christian Andersen will include major international events as well as smaller, local events. The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation has been established by the Kingdom of Denmark with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, the Odense Municipality, the County of Funen and the Bikuben Foundation.
Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center
Nikolaj Plads 10