Kontakt aarhus.nu:

Click here for Danish
19th of February 2006
Send your comment tol
Report: ÅMX.06 at Rooseum

Part of the young art scene of Århus has been put to task at an exhibition in Malmö at the exhibition space of Rooseum. The art website aarhus.nu is one of the presented projects, but we have asked the writer, Kristoffer Horn, to report about the other participating projects.

Text: Kristoffer Horn
Photo: Jan Falk Borup

The exhibition ÅMX.06 can be seen between the 17th of February and the 5th of March 2006.

This article is a part of the theme series Århus-Malmø exchange program 2006
Photo from the exhibition ÅMX.06 at Rooseum in Malmö

ÅMX.06, Should I Stay Or Should I Go? On Secondary Cities, at Rooseum
With the intension of creating a network between the two cities, as well as focusing on their positions as secondary cities in relation to the cultural scenes of the main capitals, the art scene of Århus is visiting Malmö this weekend as part of an exchange program.

As the title suggests, ÅMX.06 focuses on the conditions of the art scenes respectively in Århus and Malmö, thus focusing on the position of large provincial cities as borderline figures between the central cultural scene of the capital and the local environment of the small cities. In particular, the already existing networks of the cities are being explored, and through ÅMX.06 an increased cooperation amongst the cities, in order to create a stronger alternative as well as a larger foundation, is being encouraged.


The installation Spatial Resignation by Lise Skou

  Presentation of the magazine project SpeakUp! by Tanja Nellemann Poulsen & Grete Aagaard

Symptomatic of the art represented is the use of new media. The exhibition at Rooseum consists predominantly of video and installations with supplementary picture material. Simultaneously, the content seems to make up a collective profile, which problematizes a number of fixed and diametrically opposed relations. In the textual work Speak Up!, stereotypical pictures of ethnic women are challenged, suggesting en emphasis on singular respect of the individual as an alternative to more generalized pictures. The work criticizes the public debate, which, rather than keeping its focus on content, has been reproducing prejudice views through repetition.

Similarily, the gap between the public and private sphere is put into question, for instance in the video installation by Sixten Therkildsen The Story Came Off. Here you can follow the artist as he attempts to hunt down the story which began in the virtual, as he bought a collection of substandard films on the internet. The story is subsequently made topical in that he follows the traces of the families that lead him to the USA. Thus, while the substandard film is playing the viewer can follow the correspondence that emerges between Therkildsen and the families. Not only does this bring about an interesting and entertaining description of USA in the 1960s from a historical and personal perspective, it also questions a number of steadily constituted oppositional relationships. The objective writing of history inevitably becomes intertwined with the personal account, just as the actual realization in time and space is caused by the virtual potential of the trace. And so fiction and reality are mixed and it is no longer obvious which is which.

Exhibition photo from The Story Came off, by Sixten Therkildsen  

The Collection department for founded slips of paper, messages, letters and other documents. Af Lasse Krog Møller.

Likewise, the trace seems to be a central figure in Lasse Krog Møller´s installation, The Collection department for found slips of paper, messages, letters and other documents, which contains a collection of actual notes Møller found in the public space of Århus. The notes appear in an institutionalized form, displayed in catalogues and in an exhibition friendly manner, thereby creating a narrative structure, which is difficult to figure out – yet it awakens interesting associations. With roots in the Dadaist tradition, where worthless objects are given meaning through aesthetic interest, Møller takes it to a further level. With a little help from a deliberately strong bureaucratic text material, he leads the viewer into a universe that emphasizes the linguistic practice of naming and listing the world in order to create order within chaos. Furthermore, along with the exhibited notes, the installation consists of a table upon which different catalogue-like lists have been placed. This creates the imagery of an interrogation room and thus implies a political perspective, which challenges the fact that the order made by the catalogue simultaneously reduces singularity. In a larger perspective, the subject is deprived of its individuality and is left as a classified part of a group. For example, this creates some interesting perspectives in terms of the status of a refugee beeing a member of an ethnic and national group as opposed to an isolated subjective individual demanding respect.

Videoen Traffic Lights af Jacob Nielsen   The video Off Beat by Jacob Nielsen and the work Dear Swedish Friend by Anne Dyhr

In much the same way, the relationship between fiction and reality is disturbed in Jacob Nielsen´s video installation Traffic. The installation shows a traffic light where the colour of the cars is dependent on the colour of the traffic light. The meaning of the signals directly influence reality and the unity of the signs of the picture can no longer be separated into single parts.

In addition to the above, the exhibition offers a number of interesting works and as a whole it depicts an imposing picture of the contemporary art scene of Århus. It is interesting to ask oneself whether the domination of video media has occurred as a result of the fact that the artists in Århus are working under conditions that simply demand works that are accessible within a large network. While painting, sculpture, and especially architecture are more or less bounded by a certain place, video and especially computer art are accessible from anywhere within a given net work. It is possible that it is necessary to subordinate if the intention is to increase the reception tableau of production. Conversely, this may be seen as an advantage to secondary cities in that they are automatically forced to experiment with new media. By this means, a new platform can arise, which makes it more attractive for ambitious artists to stay in these cities instead of constantly seeking towards the central scene of culture.

The exhibition continues in Århus where the artist from Malmö exhibit at Rum46 starting from 23rd of February.
This article is part of the theme series Århus - Malmö exchange program 2006
Webdesign: Jan Falk Borup