Gether Contemporary

Sophus Gether

Kenneth Alme

Birk Bjørlo

Ruth Campau

Vinyl, terror & Horror

Camilla Smidt

Oskar Jönsson

Oskar Jakobsen

Amalie Jakobsen

Jay Gard

Luc Fuller

Luc Fuller

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Marie Kølbæk Iversen

Når

10 March - 10 April 2021

 

CV

When all women are widows

When all men are dead

When house and farm are deserted

When we see white ravens

When we see black swans

When we see feathers sinking

When we see stones floating

When we see oceans burning

When we see the end of the world

 

With the black swan as a starting point, the exhibition NÅR (the Danish word for ‘when') focuses on apocalypse as transhistorical motif. In the book The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable from 2007, the mathematical philosopher and probability theorist Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains how history has never been predictable, but is instead consistently driven forward by what Taleb with the ancient Roman poet Juvenal refers to as 'black swans:' positive or negative events that are considered highly improbable before they occur, but which are nonetheless realized with far-reaching consequences in turn. The COVID-19 crisis is a classic black swan.

 

Similarly, an old Danish folk song employs the black swan as a portent of apocalypse. The young man, Svend of Rosengård, must go into exile after having killed his brother. When his mother asks when he will return home, Svend answers: When all women are widows / When all men are dead / When house and farm are deserted / When we see white ravens / When we see black swans / When we see feathers sinking / When we see stones floating / When we see oceans burning / When we see the end of the world.

 

Referencing Taleb's theory as well as the song about Svend of Rosengård, the video work Portents is based on footage of white swans in the Danish lake Damhussøen and black swans in Parque Ibirapuera in São Paulo. The respective shots appear negative—the white swans black, the black swans white—while the background assumes a psychedelic character.

 

Additionally, the exhibition features a series of ink drawings and serigraphic UV prints that stretch the image surface beyond the color spectrum visible to the human eye. The work series borrows its circle of motifs from art historical depictions of dead men as well as recent ecological disasters and collapses, including satellite and drone footage of 2020's Arctic wildfires. As for the arrival at the end of the world, the question is not if, but when.