Lea Guldditte Hestelund’s artistic practice unites a sculptural investigation of materials with an interest in how we perceive and attribute meaning to the body.
Based on classical antiquity’s idolisation of the perfect body in earlier works the artist has explored contemporary fitness culture, recreating exercise equipment in classical materials like bronze and marble and using bodybuilding to model her own body on the iconic statue Discobolus. From specific body ideals and their social and gender implications, in this major solo exhibition Hestelund moves into investigating a more fluid concept of the body.
On the ground floor O—Overgaden Hestelund has created a total installation that is inspired by science fiction and speculates on what a body is and can be, as well as the hierarchies that shape and surround it. Architecturally the exhibition is orchestrated as a spatial narrative in three visually distinct zones. With its streamlined interior the first space has the feel of a changing room or lounge area. In this setting Hestelund presents a series of works entitled Carriers, a kind of uniform designed for bodies of more or less human shape. Made of leather and studs, they are reminiscent of work clothes, fashion accessories, and bondage gear. Who and what they are for remains unknown, but with their ambiguous references to practical use, protection, status symbols and desire they disrupt our usual parameters for decoding the body and bodily identity markers.
Lea Guldditte Hestelund (b. 1983) studied at Düsseldorf Art Academy in 2012-13, and graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2015. Her work has been shown in Denmark and abroad in exhibitions at Værelset, ARoS, Kunsthal Aarhus, SAK Kunstbygning, Ystad Art Museum, Treignac Projet, Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Parallel Vienna, and CompleteBody in New York.