Laura Lima, Den nøgne magiker, 2015. Installationsfoto.

Exhibition period: 4 June 2015 18. October 2015
Free admission

A workshop-like immersive installation

Flea market finds, textiles, instruments, books, bric-a-brac and bits and bobs from near and far made up the large, immersive installation created by Laura Lima for the x-rummet venue at the SMK. The teeming mass of accumulated objects and materials formed a kind of chaotic workshop as well as more domestic spaces such as a kitchen and bedroom. Visitors were free to roam and explore this strange universe.

Inside the workshop, visitors could bump into “The Naked Magician” pottering about, constantly creating new objects and making changes to the many materials found there. Wearing a suit with the arms cut off, the magician added an element of unpredictability to the exhibition.

This was Laura Lima’s first solo exhibition in Denmark.

Download the publication about the exhibition
(in Danish & English)

Since the mid nineties, Laura Lima has constructed situations by placing the bodies of living things (humans, animals and plants) in unexpected relations with objects and spaces, challenging the accepted meaning of words and concepts and even questioning categories such as “performance” or “installation”.

In The Naked Magician she continued to suspend the expectations we hold of the world around us and of how our actions and behaviour affect others and our shared everyday existence. Laura Lima – The Naked Magician was also about how art and the creative process can be like an alchemist’s workshop, creating something out of virtually nothing.

Download the publication about the exhibition as PDF (Danish and English version)

x-rummet is supported by
Det Obelske Familiefond.


x-rummet is the SMK's experimental venue for contemporary and has existed since 2001. Free entrance

From 2013-2016 the x-rummet will stage two exhibitions each year. Here, invited artists will challenge and expand various aspects of classic museum practices, e.g. the acts of collecting, arranging, and displaying objects and the ways in which art history is written.

The Naked Magician

by Bernardo Ortiz

Consider The Naked Magician as an image. This might sound counter-intuitive. After all, The Naked Magician is the kind of artwork in which we walk-in and wander around a space filled with stuff that is at once familiar and strange. It is this uncanniness that holds the key to the piece, but we’ll return to that. This experience of walking-in is utterly different from seeing an image. Nevertheless the artist has insisted in various interviews that much of her work are ‘images’; “I think of my works as ‘images’ in which things, humans, animals or plants, all, have the same weight.”  So just as an exercise lets consider the possibility of seeing this as an image. But how exactly is it that one looks at an image? At its most basic, looking at an image implies establishing a distance that separates the observer from the image. If the Naked Magician were framed as an installation, or a performance, or even a participatory piece, this distance would be erased. After all installation, performance and participation are art forms that aimed to erase the separation of work and spectator. But in Lima’s piece this separation is key; it must be kept. The spectator feels at once removed and in the magician’s studio. Much like visiting someone’s house for the first time and you are not sure how much you should look at, how much you should interact. The magician is there and sometimes acknowledges your presence but he is not entertaining, he isn’t there for you. The artist creates a situation where you are confronted with your own (social) limits. This is the reverse of what we traditionally come to expect from installation, performance, and participatory art. So in way this idea of image is just a way of setting up the conditions, the grammar if you will, of the piece. And it is fascinating that something so inviting, sometimes even downright cozy makes you aware of your awkwardness that is no other than the sheer experience of uncanniness. The spectators experience themselves as an intruder.

About the artist Laura Lima

Laura Lima was born in 1971 in Brazil. She lives and works in Rio de Janeiro and holds degrees in philosophy as well as art. In 2003 Lima was among the founders of A Gentil Carioca, an exhibition venue for contemporary art based in Rio de Janeiro; she still helps operate it. Lima has contributed to a wide range of group exhibitions and has presented solo shows at several major museums and institutions in North America, South America and Europe; e.g. at MUAC, Mexico City, the Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht; Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Brazil and Chapter Art Center, Cardiff, Wales.

The artwork The Naked Magician
Other versions of The Naked Magician have been presented at Casa FranÇa in Rio de Janeiro in 2011, at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich in 2013 and at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm in 2014. Every time the project travels to a new location, various objects and materials from the previous versions are brought along to be supplemented by more materials collected at the new site. 

In 2014 Laura Lima received the prestigious Dutch art award The Bonnefanten Award for Contemporary Art 2014.

The exhibition was produced
in co-operation with 
Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, and Migros Museum 
für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich