COPENHAGEN CONTEMPORARY ART CENTRE
1067 KBH K
march 12- may 8 2012
curator at Arken Museum of Art, Denmark
It’s hard to say where the story begins. With the author Aksel Sandemose? With the artist Mie Olise? At Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center? With you – the reader?Providing a full, coherent account of its source, impetus and offshoots seems impossible. What, for exam- ple, came first? Sandemose’s departure from the island of Mors? His escape to Newfoundland – an escape from the narrow-mindedness and ‘the who-do-you-think-you-are attitude’ of the Danish ‘Jante Law’? Or Mie Olise, the artist, also from the island of Mors, who has followed in the footsteps of the author and brings the story to life in the form of an exhibition? Restarts it by bringing it out of the history books and into the present – under the arched ceilings of the art space. The exhibition tells Sandemose ’s story, but it also tells Mie Olise ’s story, constantly interweaving the two in a continuous coupling of biography and autobiography. Of myth and truth, and that which exists in between.The exhibition is called The Silent Station. The title is the same as one of the exhibition’s works: The monumental (re)construction of a train station that fills most of the main hall. But it is also the title of one of the chapters Sandemose never managed to include in his novel Brudulje. The station also embodies a reference to Millertown Junction on Newfoundland, where Sandemose claims to have killed a man. At the same time it is silent. It doesn’t tell us anything beyond what we, as visitors, can piece together from the sound and text fragments and the many tracks laid out in the exhibition that refer in different ways to the life of the artist and the life of Sandemose and the intersections between the two.
text continues after images….
Helga Christoffersen, curator, New Museum, New York
Brian Dillon, editor of Cabinet Magazine