For Arrival 2021, Kåre Frang exhibits a video work and three sculptures. In the video, a person repeatedly falls to the pavement in slow motion. Frang uses personal experiences as a springboard for exploring the fragility of life, as well as structures of support and care. The work is in dialogue with three large ceramic earthenware sculptures, all of which are upscaled versions of traditional maternity pots (barselspotter) from the 1800s. Maternity pots, known since the 16th century and up until the uprising of the welfare society, were used as containers for food gifted to women after giving birth from neighbors and the local society. This work starts a conversation about how we help each other through gestures of comfort and support, while pointing to the practical and logistical conditions of coming together in a moment of fragility.
In these works, Frang is working with change. The video focuses on how we experience and deal with change ourselves, while the maternity pots question how we handle big changes when they appear in the lives of others, and as a society. The works can be read in relation to our welfare state and care systems but also from the artist’s own experiences dealing with chronic pain and parenthood.
Astrid Sonne’s Things Do Not Exist Without Being Full Of People consists of hollow, white tennis socks installed as small units of free-standing pipe systems. With her objects and their strong shapes, she explores the poetic potential of everyday things and examines the relationship between sculpture and body, and image and thing.
The outline of an unworn sock is like a line drawing of a foot. Formations of socks function as drawings in space. The pieces are not so much objects that references the human foot, but more something that evokes an inevitably recognizable shape.
Glowbaby by Erik Hällman is a series of paintings on cardboard. They feature thick layers of paint and collages of fabric and objects. Together they comprise one work, based on Hällman’s trip to a nuclear power plant in Sweden. Once he arrived at his destination, he found his attention drawn to an adjacent nature reserve; there, vegetation appeared unaffected by its proximity to the reactors, despite their obvious presence. Hällman often bases his work on travels and explorations, where he finds material to use in his paintings: both literal materials, but also content and more abstract ideas. His work for Afgang incorporates fabrics obtained from a small thrift store near the plant, words and comments collected from signs in the area or conversations with locals, and scavenged junk.
Glowbaby is concerned with synthetic nature - with meeting points between the artificial and natural. The work is both an evocation of the complex, beautiful, and sometimes psychedelic patterns found in nature, and an ambivalent examination of industry’s intrusion into supposedly idyllic landscapes. Hällman doesn’t treat these states as simple opposites, but as related situations. By filtering personal travels through a process of collage and abstraction, this work echoes the afterglow of high energy consumption and how a complex and changing climate can be seen and experienced.
Arrival 2021 presents three final projects by students who graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2020. We invited the artists, Kåre Frang, Astrid Sonne and Erik Hällman, to reinstall their graduation projects and to create a new universe around them in the beautiful setting of the White Mansion.