In 1993 the World Wide Web was launched, giving people all across the world access to the internet. The process of globalisation, which was already well underway at the time, was further accelerated by the new opportunities for sharing knowledge and information and for entering into social exchanges with the entire world.
The dissemination of knowledge and access to enormous quantities of visual information also influenced art: artists sample, download, and combine media and materials. More traditional practices such as painting and sculpture become supplemented by photography, video, installation art, and performance, and the areas where art and film, design, and architecture overlap are explored.
In terms of world politics the period is characterised by terror and conflicts between the Arab and Western worlds. Art relates to the political situation and is generally characterised by a renewed faith in art as a political space where sociological issues such as e.g. discrimination against homosexuals and the conditions of women can also be addressed.
However, the global outlook is offset by a renewed focus on the subject, one’s intimate surroundings, on individual stories and the private sphere. Many artists take their point of departure in themselves and in explorations of identity where the boundaries between reality and fiction blur and become ambiguous.
Artists form groups around alternative exhibition venues, working collectives, or via selforganised projects outside of the established institutions. Examples include John Kørner, Tal R, Kaspar Bonnén, and Kirstine Roepstorff in Kørners Kontor; Roepstorff is also among the initiators behind the feminist artists’ group Kvinder på Værtshus, while Marianne T. Grønnow is among the founders of the exhibition venue Max Mundus.
Danish artists position themselves on the international art scene to a greater extent than before. Many graduate from international art schools, settle abroad, and collaborate with artists from across the world on works and exhibitions.
Focus on the installation art
From 1990 onwards installation art becomes an important category within contemporary art. An installation is a spatial work that the spectator can enter. And that is one of the fundamental premises of installation art: you physically become part of the work, and your experience of the work is more closely linked to a bodily, multi-sensory response than the act of e.g. looking at a painting from a distance.
Artists had worked with spatially organised works before, but from the 1990s onwards interest in this form of art grows in intensity. In many ways this type of work accentuates the focus on the spectator’s role that many artists share today.
Numerous works from the period are characterised by a “reflection loop” in which the artist is ceaselessly reflecting upon their own work and practise. But the artist also has a renewed focus on how the work is received, seen, and experienced. The installation creates a situation that involves the spectator directly; our presence and responses influence this situation and, hence, the work itself. An installation can comprise many different parts, but those elements form a whole, creating a specific spatial situation.
Installations can take many forms. Some installations create architectural spaces that evoke a particular spatial quality or perhaps mime “real” spaces. Video installations are a special category; here, one or more video projections are screened on the walls of the room, perhaps supplemented by sculptural elements or props. installations can also consist of a staging of several autonomous works arranged by the artist to form a single whole in terms of both spatial layout and conceptual content.
The rooms show installations by the following artists:
- Elmgreen & Dragset
- David Shrigley
- Ann Lislegaard
- Danh Vo
- Martin Erik Andersen
The video room presents a succession of video works by various artists interchanging every month:
- Sofie Thorsen
- Jesper Just
- Eva Koch
- Søren Martinsen