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, 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.
In the exhibition, Porsager mixes science and esoteric knowledge, including tantric meditation and quantum physics. In her works, energy, matter and body meet and clash up against each other in unseen ways as she lets new forms emerge in encounters with phenomena that we cannot perceive with our senses alone.
The exhibition opens with three cut-up wind turbine blades lying like fallen giants on the floor of Kunsthal Charlottenborg’s grand space. The emptiness of the hall and the spaces between the individual pieces are permeated by an immense, invisible force. Where the blades have been cut, openings appear: wormholes to another dimension, or female openings in the otherwise phallic shape of the blades? Porsager plays with the wind mill as a historic image of the power of the imagination – and as a present-day symbol of sustainable energy, offering assurances that our lives can continue as before as long as our energy is clean.
The works in the exhibition point beyond themselves as art: they could be machines and strange measuring instruments, or cultic objects used for obscure rituals. When Porsager’s works open themselves up to other, alternative or even alien meanings, our imagination is pushed to enter new dimensions. In that sense, the title of the exhibition – STRIPPED – can be understood as a way of kicking old habits, or of unlearning what one previously knew, thereby becoming open to what lies hidden on the other side of humanity’s understanding of ourselves as the centre of the world.
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 curated by Lars Bang Larsen and organised in collaboration with the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. The exhibition is supported by the Augustinus Foundation, the Beckett Foundation, the Knud Højgaard Foundation, the Obel Family Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation and the William Demant Foundation.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new publication edited by Milena Høgsberg as well as by a series of events, including a talk by American feminist and physicist Karen Barad, who is a great source of inspiration for Porsager’s practice.
Events in the exhibition period
June 16, 17:00
Launch of the publication [?!] and Lea Porsager in conversation with independent curator and editor Milena Høgsberg. Further info here.
August 7, 15:00-16:00
Guided tour in the exhibition by curator Lars Bang Larsen. Further info here.
7. august, 20:00
On Touching the Stranger Within — Material Wanderings / Wonderings
Online talk with the feminist theorist and quantum physicist Karen Barad. The event is organised in collaboration with Art Hub Copenhagen. Further info here.
8. august, 15:00 – 17:00
Stig Sjölund, artist and instructor at Academy of the Unknown in Stockholm, reads tarot cards for visitors in a secret room in the exhibition. Further info here.