“Tongues of Fire” at Kunsthall Trondheim

By Last Updated: March 19, 2024Views: 89

In response to our house constructing’s former life as a hearth station, and Trondheim’s historical past as a metropolis formed by blazes whose traces are nonetheless current in its design at present, this group exhibition brings collectively artists who’ve been deeply touched and remodeled by way of the challenges manifest within the burnt and burning.

By way of the mediums of tapestry, video, laptop simulation, sculpture, pictures, and drawing, the exhibition contemplates fireplace’s many bodily sides—its gentle, its warmth, its different phenomena. Concurrently, the artworks kindle reflection on broader themes akin to marvel, intimacy, and keenness, and the pressing issues of conflict, restore, and local weather.

By sharing narratives, methods, and recollections, with a particular emphasis on communal remembrance, the exhibition sheds gentle on the intertwined historical past of fireside and humanity, inviting reflection on whether or not this intricate and fragile relationship is now teetering uncontrolled. The pivotal function of the humanities in shaping the politics of reminiscence and the regional specificities of fireside is highlighted by way of a set of historic objects sourced from Trondheim’s archives, together with the town’s repeatedly burnt cathedral. Collectively, these artworks collect to pose a query: what lies forward in our ever-evolving “Age of Hearth?”

“Since our earliest existence, humanity has been captivated by the twin nature of fireside. By way of cooking and heating, fireplace protects life, but it additionally carries the specter of our demise. Whereas the frequency and depth of flames from conflict and wildfires are day by day spectacles within the media, fireplace stays a needed and ever-present technique of survival and regeneration. This exhibition humbly endeavors to discover the ‘aesthetics of burning,’ providing a contemplative lens to rethink our historic, but delicate relationship with this history-shaping power.”
—Adam Kleinman, Director Kunsthall Trondheim, and Exhibition Curator with Katrine Elise Agpalza Pedersen

Like tales instructed round a campfire all through the night time, “Tongues of Hearth” presents a number of voices that weave out and in of one another. Audiences are inspired to construct their very own connections; nonetheless, the next strains could also be used as a (non- exhaustive) information.

The exhibition is organized round a number of constellations of artworks, one in all which notes the private and communal affect of home fires. ANNA-KAISA ANT-WUORINEN’s sculptural set up of objects reclaimed from the time her personal home burnt down, is one such instance. This theme extends to LUNGISWA GQUNTA’s video projection evoking kitchen and different house fires affecting casual communities within the artist’s native South Africa. Close by, a picture by WALID RAAD presents an archival {photograph} of an attractive optical “Op-Artwork” portray leaning towards a jewellery cupboard. Nonetheless, the portray is definitely meant to doc the shelling of Beirut in the course of the Lebanese Civil Warfare. The affect of political battle on the panorama can likewise be seen in THU VAN TRAN’s photographs of a burning jungle, which references the usage of defoliants dropped on vegetation initially launched by the French from Brazil to Vietnam.

Different wildfires ignite throughout completely different moments within the exhibition. NOÈMIE GOUDAL reimagines the prehistory of geological coal formation by way of a simulated blaze throughout Amazonia, whereas TUDA MUDA’s charcoal drawings illustrate the legendary sacrifice of all of the snakes on the planet. This act is in retribution for an interrelated sequence of occasions narrated in an historic Sanskrit epic, reaching again to the burning of a serpent neighborhood’s forest house.

Past rage and retaliation, the emotion of need and its metaphorical illustration as each warmth and flame will be noticed in SIN WAI KIN’s filmic set up. Right here, the drag character Victoria Sin lays out in a style resembling a courtesan, teasing the viewer to “have a look at them” as clouds of smoke fill the air. The physique, in addition to the transit of the soul, is explored in ANA MENDIETA’s movie, the place her personal physique is rendered by way of a burning effigy lit towards the night time sky. Respect for the deceased, notably by museums, is highlighted in GALA PORRAS-KIM’s file of the ashes of “Luzia,” the oldest human fossil in Brazil, whose stays have been inadvertently cremated when The Nationwide Museum of Brazil caught fireplace in 2018. The paradoxical nature of communal remembrance is additional grappled with within the work of TUAN ANDREW NGUYEN, who revisits the historical past of protest by self-immolation in Vietnam by way of its public memorialization.

Turning to the alchemical and the cosmic, AGNIESZKA KURANT presents a hybrid metallic sculpture produced from fusing collectively the artworks of different artists. A second paintings by the artist shows an artificial rock, whose synthetic geological strata comprises simulated proof of assorted “occasions” akin to a nuclear explosion by way of the rock’s inclusion of trinitite, a “glass” that was shaped as a consequence of the Trinity nuclear bomb Check in 1945. WALID RAAD makes a double look within the exhibition by way of a “discovered” sequence of notebooks by which a Lebanese explosives professional analyzes the aftermath of automotive bombs in the course of the Lebanese Civil Warfare by measuring blast websites in carpets.

How historical past is constantly inscribed in textiles will be thought-about by way of a fascinating work by HANNAH RYGGEN that depicts a unadorned couple and kids floating amongst the celebrities. This picture is presumably impressed by the Swedish science-fiction epic Aniara (1956) by Harry Martinson, by which refugees drift by way of the universe after surviving an apocalyptic disaster that destroyed the Earth. A number of many years after its creation, the tapestry was broken by a terrorist who focused the constructing the place the work hung with a automotive bomb. Throughout its restore, a call was made to not render the work’s wounds invisible, permitting their marks to function a testomony.

JOHN GERRARD employs state-of-the-art gaming know-how to depict a blazing flag of burning fuel rising from a desolate ocean expanse. Whether or not this flag symbolizes the period of fossil fuels, serves as a warning about its endgame, or encapsulates each ideas is open to interpretation.

On a proper and technological stage, a number of works within the exhibition immediately relate to fireside. In probably the most obvious situations, this entails the heating, burning, charring, and melting of wooden, metallic, and different supplies. Nonetheless, the exhibition additionally options lens and screen-based works to spotlight the hidden connection that every one electronically powered units share, usually tied to the burning of some gasoline. These “fireplace photographs,” which we constantly devour, whether or not on our telephones or elsewhere, not solely contribute to our dependancy to fossil fuels but additionally resonate with an historic parable. Just like Prometheus, who endured everlasting torment for stealing fireplace from the gods, we too bear the implications of our insatiable consumption.

Along with the core up to date artwork exhibition, “Tongues of Hearth” is grounded by artifacts from Trondheim’s personal story. These embody the rating to a seventeenth century ”Hearth Ballad” that attributes the blame for the 1681 inferno that devastated Trondheim to the town’s personal ethical decay alongside Johan Caspar de Cicignon’s (ca. 1625–96) Enlightenment plan for the following rebuild following rationalist design rules.

Archival pictures doc Kunsthall Trondheim’s house constructing’s former life as a hearth station alongside photographs of key fires within the metropolis’s historical past. One such fireplace, which consumed components of the Archbishop’s Palace in 1983, is represented by way of a set of early twentieth century stone gargoyles and different grotesques that after adorned the adjoining Nidaros Cathedral till they have been scorched in that occasion. This incident altered their coloration and texture from cool stone-gray to a rust-like encrusted orange. These carvings discover reflection in a number of different objects on mortgage from the Cathedral courting again to the twelfth century. Every, in its personal approach, bears witness to Trondheim’s connection to each the burnt and the burning.

Taking part artists
Anna-Kaisa Ant-Wuorinen, John Gerrard, Noémie Goudal, Lungiswa Gqunta, Agnieszka Kurant, Ana Mendieta, Tuda Muda, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Gala Porras-Kim, The Atlas Group in collaboration with Walid Raad, Hannah Ryggen, Sin Wai Kin, and Thu Van Tran.

at Kunsthall Trondheim
till Could 5, 2024

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