An Age of Our Own Making
An Age of Our Own Making is a contemporary art project in three 'chapters' taking place in three different Danish cities from May to November 2016. The project is part of IMAGES 16, an art programme unfolding in art institutions and public spaces all over Denmark.
An Age of Our Own Making involves 28 artists from East and West Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The exhibition, which will be presented in Holbæk City, in Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde and Roskilde Festival 2016, explores the life and circulation of people and materials and the imprints they leave on environments across the globe.
An Age of Our Own Making provides a space for the public to think about human actions, responsibilities and their repercussions, and how these have crafted our age for better or for worse.
A MAN-MADE ERA
An Age of Our Own Making aims at investigating this era of ours, in which societies, technologies, sociopolitical, economic and ecological realities are sculpted by humanity.
With sculptural and performative interventions in public spaces, as well as videos, installations and paintings in three museums, the project invites all to reflect on how we want to live together in this world, beyond the current, widespread tendencies of over-protection. The exhibition will unravel in 3 chapters called Reflections I – III.
The 'reflections' show a younger generation of artists who are mainly born after 1970. Instead of leaning up against the western cultural history with its key concept of a 'magnificent modernity' these artists invent their own individual mode of expression; their own space; their own discourse and history as well as a way to represent it in their works of art.
Knowing all too well that of the many glories modernity introduced, including enlightenment, the quest for individual freedom and equality, advancements in science and technology and rationalism, it also brought with it coloniality, the artists make a point of acknowledging this 'darker side of modernism'.
Coloniality, clearly, generated and cultivated structures of economical, political, epistemological, racial and ecological power gradients, control matrices, and hegemony systems that reign until the present.
An Age of Our Own Making identifies in the globalization of capitalist and neo-liberal economy and politics, and their aftermaths - ranging from global ecological crisis to the current state of refugeeness - a continuation of that darker side of modernity. It sees the ideas of decoloniality acted out by the participating artists as alternative enactments of citizenship.
The curatorial goal is that this series of reflections and exhibitions will inspire both a local and international audience to imagine new ways of meeting others, being civilians and interacting with the world around us.
Read the full concept here.
Hamed Ouattara: Buffet
The Life of Materials. On Another Nature and Ecology
Holbæk City, May 14 - Aug 15 2016
This part of the exhibition project consists of a series of location-specific art pieces and interventions in the urban space of Holbæk City.
The art works will form a sculpture walk in the city centre and at the water front, occasionally expanding into the periphery of the city. In the city centre the project engages with the local Cultural History Museum and the library.
The sculptures and installations are all concerned with the innovative use and circulation of materials known from other contexts than the artistic. New ways of interpreting and possibly (re)using materials arise as a reference to global society's way of circulating materials and goods, and underscore the related social, ecological and political issues.
This chapter will be a reflection on industrialisation and the effects of consumer actions as well as a reflection on the life of materials existing beyond our perception.
Athi-Patra Ruga: The Future White Woman of Azania, 2012
The Route that Tempts the Traveler to Test Gravity - Notes on the Paradigm of Immunization
Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde and Roskilde Festival, Jun 25 - Jul 2 2016
This part of the exhibition will focus on performance art and performativity in general. Incorporating some of the leading performance artists from Africa, Asia and the Middle East the chapter will offer space for deliberations on the paradigm of immunization: protection of the self, the nation-state or other collective political bodies. Is there a limit where self-protection excludes social circulation?
The contradiction between social circulation and immunization exists on an individual physical level, e.g. in terms of sexuality, illness or the sharing of social space, as well as on a collective level represented by the political body in terms of e.g. guarding national borders. This over-protection may create stagnation when it comes to the development of a body or society in the way that the very thing that protects the entity is the same thing that obstructs it – or even annihilates it.
This chapter will thus question harsh immigration laws, as well as economic, racial, sexual and gender stratifications that germinate from these tendencies of overprotection and oversecurity and on the liminal moments when the threshold is crossed – psychologically, physically or legally.
Kamal Aljafari: The Roof, 2006, still image
An Age of Our Own Making - On Agency and Enacting Citizenship
Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 16. september -15. januar 2017
This last part of the exhibition project will consist in the presentation of four artists and a film programme. It will look at possibilities of creating, claiming, using or shaping space as forms of enacting citizenship.
In an age of renegotiation of global relations with a view to finding common ground, it is important to challenge the concept of citizenship beyond the context of the nation state. A central point here is the production of space from civil side.
This 'reflection' examines space as a social and political product and how it is historically configured as a social formation and a mental construction. Be it real or virtual, the manifestations that give a lost, deserved or a forgotten meaning back to a specific space will play a central role in this chapter.
Just like citizenship, space is inclusive or exclusive, and practices of marginalization can also be seen as spatial politics.
This theme is the core and connecting point of the four solo exhibitions and the film programme at Kunsthal Charlottenborg.