MAY 05 - JUNE 17 2018
STELLA GEPPERT, ANTONIA LOW, TINA MARIA NIELSEN
'Power Plant' is a Danish-German collaboration and exhibition project by Stella Geppert, Antonia Low and Tina Maria Nielsen. The three experienced visual artists have created works based on Kunsthal NORD's location in a former coal-fired power plant after they have been on several research tours in Aalborg to investigate the physical and symbolic properties of local energy production. After that, they have used the studies as both actual method and metaphorical basis for their own artistic production.
The title 'Power Plant' refers directly to Kunsthal NORD's former function as a transformer station. The exhibition highlights historical, functional contexts and relates artistically to the local and global aspects of the industrial age. Several of the works appear as a form of memorials that challenge our perception of the role of the body in the industrial, craft-based era as well as in the present technological, digitally controlled era.
Stella Geppert, Antonia Low and Tina Maria Nielsen, all use sculptural practices, installations and objects in combination with various ready-mades that currently include coal and residues from energy production. Common to the practice of the three artists is producing the works special locational and contextual framework. For several months, they have worked together for the exhibition at The Danish Art Workshops in Copenhagen, and the establishment of the exhibition in Aalborg will take place in close cooperation with Kunsthal NORD's artistic staff.
Videointerview about the exhibition
THE ARTISTS PROJECTS:
Stella Geppert uses the body's movement patterns in relation to the surroundings to create her social sculptures, which are in the midst of artistic intervention and the actual events. The sculptures are the framework of a temporary limited action, but most often leave graphical traces of presence. In Stella Geppert's works, human communication and collective social behavior are essential ingredients that become visible through the form of the sculpture.
In collaboration with four performers, she has reconstructed and re-introduced the coal miners' behavior and movements in the industrial age for the exhibition in Kunsthal NORD to examine how they physically were involved in the process of energy generation:
"My goal was partly to figure out how to create shapes of motion while working very deep underground in very narrow space, and partly to create collective and intuitive actions working with clay," says Stella Geppert.
The result is a series of ceramic sculptures with imprints of different movements, such as looking for coal in a mountain, digging coal on a surface and climbing up together. As a further development of the artist's walk through Venice's streets in 2013, Stella Geppert will make a video-documented intervention in "Nordjyllandsværket" in Aalborg.
Antonia Low focuses with an archaeological eye on what one normally overlooks and what hides behind the plain visible. Her works are often inspired by neglected storage rooms, at the back of technical installations and in other locations hidden from the public.
In Aalborg Antonia Low has been inspired by the city's former power plant's transformation into new, physical energy production in the form of sports, fitness and culture. Coal energy was required for the production of steel and for the exhibition she has produced a number of distorted anthropomorphic steel structures, on which she has hung different objects appropriated from some other European cultural institutions in which she has exhibited.
"In german, "stahlhart" is an old-fashioned term for an extra-ordinarily strong material or character. It is an expression that originates from the Industrialization, and especially when steel was developed for Wilhelm II's cannons. I use steel as an anachronistic material and examine its possible flexibility - as a new soft skill," says Antonia Low.
The shapes bring to mind Art Nouveaus decorative and nature-inspired artifacts, which as a refined craftmanship were a reaction to the industrial age. By experiencing fragments from different epochs put into a contemporary context, we as observers, may turn our attention to smaller 'disturbances' that produce thoughts and reflection.
Tina Maria Nielsen often reflects on a location's relevant history as a time frame and an artistic field of work. Her works are characterized by their immediacy and material differences, and often she uses found objects or castings in 1:1 of objects from everyday space.
By exploring the intrinsic energies of different materials and their immediate substance, Tina Maria Nielsen brings the unseen and hitherto overlooked into light of a search for the creation of identities in the middle of the imaginary and the actual space.
In Kunsthal NORD it is objects from the now closed Block 2 in Nordjyllandsværket and residual materials from the current local energy production, which is the starting point for a series of photographic works, a comprehensive mobile and a sculptural installation with both ready mades and a collection of brand new sculptures.
"As a form of scanning of time and place, I have created a number of sculptures, where coal and residues from the energy production such as plaster, slag, salt and fly ashes mix with butterflies and bronze castings”, says Tina Maria Nielsen.
The Danish artist has thus gained inspiration from the history and function of the power plants in Northern Jutland and critically challenges the expectations of the industrial community's utopian potential.
Stella Geppert is educated at the École des Beaux Arts of Paris and Fine Art at the University of the Arts, Berlin (graduated in 1999). Living and working in Berlin and Halle. Her works has been shown internationally in Japan, Netherland, Sweden, England, Morocco, Greece (State of Concept, 2016) and in Germany (Berlin, Haus am Lützowplatz, 2017). Since 2010 she is a professor for Experimental Sculpture at the University of Art and Design in Halle, Germany.
Antonia Low is a Berlin based artist, who has studied Fine Arts at Kunstakademie Münster and at Goldsmiths College, London. She has had solo exhibitions at Palazzo Altemps, Museo Nationale Romano (2016); K21 Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf (2015); Kunstverein Braunschweig (2014); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2014); and in 2017 at Eigen&Art Lab, Berlin, Deutsches Haus at NYU, New York; and Gingko Space, Beijing.
Tina Maria Nielsen is educated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (1991-99). Living and working in Copenhagen. Latest solo shows in the selection: Esbjerg Kunstmuseum (2017), The Free in Copenhagen (2016), Charlotte Fogh Gallery in Aarhus (2014), Gallery Thomas Wallner, Simrishamn (2014) and Brandts in Odense (2013).
The exhibition is supported by The Danish Arts Foundation, The Danish Art Workshops, Nordjyllandsværket and The City of Aalborg.