All is vibrations: Lea Porsager opens major exhibition at Kunsthal Charlottenborg
Wind-turbine blades cut into slices, magnetic prayer wheels and sexualised icon paintings are some of the elements featured in Lea Porsager’s solo show STRIPPED, opening June 11 and is on throughout the summer at Kunsthal Charlottenborg. In this major exhibition, visitors will find works that explore the boundaries between body, knowledge and metaphysics. We are in the realm of sculpture – and at the same time somewhere else entirely, entering states of excitement and exhaustion.
Kunsthal Charlottenborg’s large south wing is the setting for Lea Porsager’s works, which reflect the artist’s fascination with – and her research into – spirituality and quantum physics. Porsager engages with science and esoteric knowledge as forms of cognition that the modern era has striven to keep separate. When different worldviews refract in each other, openings can arise between worlds, paving the way for new perspectives on what and how we know something and who our knowledge makes us.
The works are by turns speculative and confrontational. It is an exhibition full of vanishing points: there is emptiness as well as openings onto forces and space-times that dwarfs humankind into insignificance. At the same time, a gendered body stands as the point of connection between the material and the immaterial.
“I am attracted to science, mysticism and feminism because all three themes are open-ended, wild and raw, albeit in very different ways. They can challenge each other where they criss-cross and differ from each other. This gives rise to a vibration, movement or collision, which I am interested in exploring,” says Lea Porsager.
STRIPPED consists exclusively of new works. The exhibition’s biggest element is three blades from a wind turbine, shown here cut to pieces – a violently reworked readymade now lying on the floor of Kunsthal Charlottenborg like a fallen giant. The exhibition delves into ideas from the borderlands of human and social experience: how can we work with these notions that offer glimpses of what may be on the other side of our own perceptions and experiences? Do we have any choice but to try to contact them if we want to transform ourselves and our relationship with the world of which we are part?
“Since Cervantes, windmills – and their modern-day successors, wind turbines – have symbolised the power of human imagination. The great mystic Emanuel Swedenborg once dreamed that he was hit on the head by the sail of a windmill – and received a cosmic revelation. In the counterculture of the 1960s, the wind turbine was a political symbol. And a wind turbine standing close by Lea’s childhood home gave her nightmares as a child. Today, perhaps the wind turbine rather represents the status quo: it promises that we can continue to live and consume as we have always done, as long as just our energy is clean. In this sense, Lea’s cut-up wind turbine blades are a kind of dissection of our imagination – or a pointing out that our imagination is in a state of crisis,” says curator Lars Bang Larsen.
Lea Porsager (b. 1981) is a graduate from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and from the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main in 2010. She has had solo shows at venues such as the Henie Onstad Art Center in Oslo, Kunstverein Göttingen, The Emily Harvey Foundation in New York and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde. Porsager took part in documenta 13 and the 14th Istanbul Biennale. She is currently working on public art commissions in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Her land art piece Gravitational Ripples was inaugurated in June 2018 at Djurgården in Stockholm, commemorating the Swedish victims of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia in 2004. Porsager holds a PhD from the Malmö Art Academy. She lives and works in Copenhagen.
STRIPPED is arranged in collaboration with the Moderna Museet i Stockholm and curated by Lars Bang Larsen. The exhibition is accompanied by a new publication edited by Milena Høgsberg and by a range of events, including a talk by the American feminist and physicist Karen Barad, who is a major source of inspiration for Porsager.
The exhibition is supported by the Augustinus Foundation, Beckett Foundation, Knud Højgaard’s Foundation, the Obel Family Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation and the William Demant Foundation.
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