Renaissance of the Night
This summer, Kunsthal Charlottenborg presents Renaissance of the Night: the largest-ever and most comprehensive solo presentation of the internationally acclaimed artist Kirstine Roepstorff. As one of the most versatile artists of her generation, Kirstine Roepstorff creates works that equally appeal to our deep aesthetic senses as well as our political, social and existential awareness’s.
Renaissance of the Night focuses on darkness and the cultural constructs that surround it. Darkness can be a purely physical phenomenon – an absence of light – but it is also associated with aspects of the human psyche, with sleep, death and the subconscious. It can connote a state of fear and uncertainty, while at the same time it constitutes the universal wellspring of all organic life; the primordial substance from which we all originate from. Based on the thesis that we are now living in a world that is too brightly lit, an overexposed world in which light is lauded as the absolute truth while darkness is associated with the unpleasant and the unknown, Kirstine Roepstorff explores the wider potential of darkness. Can darkness be felt and understood as a kind of dissolving energy, a transformative force rather than the sum of the great unknown that we tend to evade? What happens if we surrender to that darkness?
Orchestrated as a narrative journey from dusk to dawn, the exhibition unfolds as an immersive and ambient spatial installation that encompasses the entire south wing of Kunsthal Charlottenborg. At the heart of the exhibition visitors will find Roepstorff’s most recent magnum opus, the spectacular sound and light work Theatre of Glowing Darkness, presented here in a new format, as well as the virtuoso tapestry Renaissance of the Night, from which the exhibition borrows its title. Featuring approximately 75 works in total, the exhibition also presents a vast array of newly produced as well as older pieces spanning various media such as painting, collage, relief, mobile and sculpture.
Podcast series on darkness
Focusing on the subject of darkness, the exhibition will be accompanied by a podcast series created in collaboration with Carsten Ortmann, MA in Aesthetics and Culture from Aarhus University and host of the radio broadcast ‘Supertanker’ on DR P1. Cutting across a wide range of professional fields, the series will feature a selected range of different voices speaking about their relationship with darkness – from a blind boy’s sense of light and colour to an acclaimed astrophysicist’s defining insights into stardust and its importance to the creation of planets. Leading figures within their fields, such as curator Bonaventure Ndikung, theologian Anders Laugesen, anthropologist Jonas Tinius, theatre director Catherine Poher, neurologist Andreas Roepstorff and astrophysicist Anja C. Andersen, are among the participants. Comprising a total of 20 podcasts in either Danish or English, the series will be available for free streaming and download from 14 June.
Kirstine Roepstorff (b. 1972) is educated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (1994-2001) and Rutgers University, Mason School of Fine Art (MFA), USA (2000). In 2017 she represented Denmark in the Danish Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
The exhibition is curated by Aukje Lepoutre Ravn, former curator at Röda Sten Konsthall in Göteborg, Sweden and artistic leader of GIBCA-Göteborg International Biennale for Contemporary Art 2015.
The exhibition is generously supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, Beckett Foundation, Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen Foundation, Oticon Foundation, Knud Højgaard’s Foundation, Spar Nord Foundation, the Oben Family Foundation and Axel Muusfeldt’s Foundation.
Sponsors: Flügger, Stouenborg, Louis Poulsen, Kvadrat.