As the second chapter of the INTRO development program, O—Overgaden is excited to welcome the solo exhibition by selected artist Dina El Kaisy Friemuth, which will open 5 November 2021 5pm
Dina El Kaisy Friemuth’s upcoming solo show No History at All consists of a pervasive installation on the ground floor of O—Overgaden and an intervention in its institutional program. The exhibition holds up a mirror to the white, Western art institution and questions its historical position of power, as well as its current raison d’etre. In her first Danish, institutional solo exhibition and with a line-up of events, a new video work, a large carpet decorated with a quotation by anti-Islamophobic activist Houria Bouteldja, and colorful statement posters, El Kaisy Friemuth asks the audience to consider the writing of history of which they themselves are a part.
The exhibition invites visitors to take a seat on a carpet, mimicking the culture in which El Kaisy Friemuth grew up, where families sit together to share knowledge through stories, writings, and images. This carpet creates a space for social activities and debates throughout the exhibition period, with El Kaisy Friemuth facilitating a series of talks on decolonial thinking and institutional critique, especially articulated by voices from the global South.
“Who can own a history?” El Kaisy Friemuth asks with her exhibition’s focus on democracy and the legitimacy of museums. A museum is an educational institution, celebrated in the Western world as a product of the Enlightenment. But the museum also carries a deep and painful history of imperialism, colonialism, and white supremacy. Many museums still possess stolen objects. In a critique of the institution representing a Western worldview, the exhibition asks: How can you return artifacts of cultural significance to their countries of origin without just passing them on to “another museum”? And how can radical and permanent structural changes be implemented in the very same museums, or at an art institution like O—Overgaden?
Dina El Kaisy Friemuth is known for her activist, collective, feminist, and critical artistic practice investigating sociopolitical communities and affiliations while dealing with questions about gender, ethnicity, and class in relation to cultural upbringing. El Kaisy Friemuth’s work is often created in collaboration with other cultural workers and includes curating, text, performance, and video. No History at All will also encompass an array of workshops, panel discussions, and talks in which Friemuth makes space for additional voices and perspectives on the exhibition’s themes. Among other things, the newly founded union for racialized artists and cultural workers in Denmark, The Union, will host a series of talks on the exhibition’s carpet.
Dina El Kaisy Friemuth (b. 1988) lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin and is, among other things, one of the co-founders of FCNN (Feminist Collective with No Name) together with Anita Beikpour. They hold an MFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen and UdK Berlin (2010–2016) and are currently participating in the Berlin Programme for Artists 2021–23.
INTRO is Overgaden’s customised development program for young artists in Denmark, culminating in a solo exhibition accompanied by a publication. INTRO is a three-year pilot project, generously supported by Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond.