Maj Hasager & Helen de Main


13. nov 16. jan 2011

The exhibition Between Here & Somewhere Else developed from various periods spent by Danish artist Maj Hasager (b. 1977) and British artist Helen de Main (b. 1980) in Palestine and Israel over the past three years.

During their joint travels they developed an ongoing relationship with the area, and are attempting through this exhibition to illustrate the current situation in the occupied territories, as seen from the perspective of an outsider.

Recognising the importance of oral, written and visual narrative traditions in the construction of a shared history, Hasager and de Main portray alternative interpretations of a place which, despite its geographical distance, seems familiar to us, as a result of its permanent presence in the media. In the work One Month in Ramallah – Al Quds/Guardian, de Main reproduces more than 60 photographs from the British and Palestinian newspapers. The work is an attempt to reconcile her own experience of Palestine with the images of the place created by the media. Alongside the photographs are geometric coloured prints that leave gaps in which the observers can project their own image of the place.

All over the world, landscapes, buildings and cultural heritages are being altered, replaced or even eliminated as a result of war and conflict. Hasager’s photographic and text-based work, Memories of Imagined Places, is the result of a long series of interviews with young Palestinians, in which she explores their inherited memories of the destroyed villages from which their grandparents fled in 1948. The work steps out of the frame of the conflict and introduces the viewer to personal narratives about landscapes of loss, longing and displacement.

Between Here & Somewhere Else was exhibited in the spring of 2010 in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah. At Overgaden, the exhibition is accompanied by an archive and the intercultural seminar Invitation to the Possible.

For the archive, British artist James McLardy has created a new sculptural artwork that uses a playful interrogation of form, function and public space to make available a collection of archival material in the gallery that consists of books and journals relating to Palestinian culture, history and the political situation. The objects within McLardy’s installation borrow from an architectural language of water features, such as public fountains, hamams and water parks that he observed whilst on a research trip in Palestine earlier in the year. The participatory nature of the work, through its functional proportions and improvised sense of place, invites visitors to sit and read within a sculptural environment, whilst questioning the role of social leisure space, in an area that is so often defined by conflict.

The multi-disciplinary and interactive seminar on interculturalism in Denmark, Invitation to the Possible, will over the course of its 4 week run, invite artists from the disciplines of music, literature, performing arts and visual arts to programme a series of events with the intend to generate awareness around intercultural aesthetics as a new cultural category in Denmark. The seminar is initiated by the Danish Arts Council’s intercultural advisory project led by Khaled Ramadan and is curated by Hasager and de Main.

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