AUGUST 6 - OCTOBER 15 2017
Manon Bellet / Manuel Burgener / Luc Mattenberger / Mo Maja Moesgaard / Stine Marie Jacobsen
WHAT’S WRONG is an international exhibition with works of the three Swiss artists Manon Bellet, Manuel Burgener and Luc Mattenberger, as well as Mo Maja Moesgaard and Stine Marie Jacobsen from Denmark. The aim is to strengthen the artistic dialogue between Switzerland and Denmark, while giving the Danish audience an insight into the current Swiss art scene.
The idea to connect the five artists in Northern Jutland corresponds to one of Kunsthal NORD’s most courted realms: bringing new and experimental art to the North of Denmark. The artists will contribute site-specific works, either directly produced or newly installed in the Kunsthal NORD. The curatorial concept of the exhibition binds the five artists on the expectation to fit their works into Kunsthal NORD’s unique space, which takes its main features from the industrial past of its location inside Aalborg’s former power plant Nordkraft. Its raw appearance was preserved when Nordkraft was turned into a cultural center in the early 2000s, which ultimately makes Kunsthal NORD’s inner space a lot less conventional in comparison to other art institutions. Far from a traditional white cube, the floors, walls and ceiling display their history in plain sight. The artists’ individual practices offer an interesting challenge to each other and the space, in which the works and their site-specific quality prove to be the corresponding elements.
The exhibition “WHAT’S WRONG” is an attempt in seeking to examine the current state of affairs in the contemporary art scene. The severe influence of the art market leaves its imprint in many surroundings of the actual works, including the programs of art museums and galleries. Kunsthal NORD provides space to artists who offer an alternative to the commodity-influenced structures of the art market system. Site-specificity plays an important role in escaping the common trades market, as works especially created for one place can lose meaning and content when taken away from their original position, which thus makes them more of an experience than a commodity. Most works in WHAT’S WRONG will not exist after the exhibition at Kunsthal NORD, which ultimately places them outside the art market.
Manon Bellet (1979) contributes with a performative work that she will create on-site, directly on the walls of Kunsthal NORD and in collaboration with local musicians. She will install burned silk paper pads that will continuously move according to the performance of the invited musicians and the resulting audio frequencies. The work is constantly under transformation, and inevitably, it will be "destroyed", as its individual parts loosen from the wall and fall onto the floor. Contextually and artistically, it relates to Nordkraft's former coal combustion and rapid transformation from industrial building to cultural power plants.
Manon Bellet is educated from the Ecole Cantonale d'Art Valais (ECAV) in Sierre, Switzerland and Chelthenham & Gloucester Art College of Higher Education in England in 2005. Manon Bellet lives and works in Basel, Berlin and New Orleans.
Manuel Burgener (1978) creates a site-specific installation especially made for the rooms of Kunsthal NORD. The work's main characteristic is not what we see in front of us as the final result, but rather the lack thereof. Burgener invades a space with his installation, but lays the focus on the unseen: The absence of matter in the space. His futuristic industrial project stands in contrast with Nordkraft’s raw and uncompromising premises of a formerly classic industrial production site.
Manuel Burgener graduated from the Hochschule der Künste, Bern, Switzerland, in 2004. Lives and works in Bern, Switzerland.
Luc Mattenberger (1980) is showing a site-specific installation, through which he reflects on the cleanliness and orderliness in a wide-range of institutions, such as hospitals, morgues and slaughterhouses. The installation, whose main characteristic is a white tiled wall, takes the viewer in captivity, but how does it correspond to Nordkraft´s rather unclean past? A seemingly displaced element in an art institution, which however also favors cleanliness, the work has the capacity to capture its viewer, and to provoke a sense of the uncanny.
Luc Mattenberger graduated from HEAD (Haute école d'art et de design) in Geneva in 2006. Lives and works in Basel and Geneva, Switzerland.
Mo Maja Moesgaard (1980) will show recent drawings and animations, whose aesthetics and themes draw on a type of everyday realism, especially known from the 70's imagery. The capitalism-critical movie 'Slowly but Suddenly', inspired by climate change and judgmental narratives, will be screened during the exhibition. Mo Maja Moesgaard also participates in Kunsthal NORD's new project KN1-15: Fifteen Art Galleries.
Mo Maja Moesgaard graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (2014) with a theoretical master's degree in gender studies from the Goldsmith's University (2011) in London. Lives and works in Copenhagen.
Stine Marie Jacobsen (1977) works with texts, workshops, performances, social experiments and teaching situations that leave room for new discourses and critical thinking to arise. Her projects focus on film, gender, violence, death, taboo, psychology, legislation, language and ethics. For WHAT'S WRONG, she contributes a work that is based on her influential and successful book German for Artists, which she will present in a visual and installational context in Kunsthal NORD.
Stine Marie Jacobsen graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2009. Lives and works in Berlin.
See or download the exhibition catalogue here
The exhibition is supported by Statens Kunstfond and Aalborg Kommune, Pro Helvetia and Embassy of Switzerland in Denmark.