| 18.nov.2016

Hatching eggs – transformations, man-bird and sex

As part of the SMK² project series, artist Lea Porsager has created the special display Z WAN, exploring the multi-layered narratives hiding beneath the surface of the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan.

“In Greek mythology, Leda was the daughter of an Aetolian king, famous for being impregnated by Zeus in the guise of a swan. She was the wife of Tyndareus, with whom she lay on the same night that Zeus visited her. ”

– The myth of Leda and the Swan

Part of SMK²

Over the course of a year, eight artists will stage interventions in the museum collections, creating alternative ways of presenting art that give you new perspectives and new points of entry. Lea Porsager’s special display is the fourth project in the series. 

The artist interventions are curated by Marianne Torp, chief curator and senior researcher at SMK, as part of SMK² - a range of experiments where SMK invites artists, writers and other professions to engage with the museum collections in new ways thereby bringing you fresh, startling and surprising art.

The room at the far end of the display of Dansk og Nordisk Kunst 1750-1900 Danish and Norwegian Art 1750–1900 has been transformed, allowing you to delve into Lea Porsager’s reinterpretation of the Greek myth about Leda and the Swan. In her contribution to the SMK² series, the Danish artist has given her thoughts and associations free rein, exploring the SMK stores to create the special display Z WAN – a museum bedroom.

Paintings, contraceptive pills and a paddle boat
By juxtaposing prints depicting swan motifs, paintings featuring yarn and feathers, contraceptive pills, sculptures on woollen mattresses and bed-like steel structures, vaginal balls and a huge, shiny, swan-shaped paddle boat, Lea Porsager explores the multi-layered narratives hidden below the surface of the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan. Lea Porsager dwells on the grotesque aspects of the myth, on transformations, on bird-man hybrids and on sex.

Every work in Z WAN has been carefully selected to embody various connections to the tale of Leda and the Swan; some are instantly obvious while others are rather more cryptic. This approach is typical of Lea Porsager’s artistic practice: she often incorporates references to other artists and practices in order to highlight a variety of outlooks on life, meanings and connections.

In addition to works by Henri Matisse, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, Ursula Reuter Christiansen and Joakim Skovgaard, Z WAN also features a range of new works by Lea Porsager created especially for this display

Art, philosophy and science
Lea Porsager has used the ancient myth as the starting point of a game of associations, giving her thoughts free rein. However, the artist also took a more research-oriented approach to the task: in Z WANshe emphasises the different meanings attributed to swans in everything from fairy tales to Buddhism and “black swan theory”.

Z WAN is a result of the artist’s train of thought, a reflection of her interest in ideas about sexuality, mysticism and physics, and a product of her distinctive mixture of art, philosophy, science and thinking. 
Lea Porsager has created a special display that not only explores the narratives embedded in the ancient Greek myth: it is also a constellation of works which highlights how there are always many different connections to be found – and many different answers. 

About Lea Porsager
Lea Porsager (b. 1981), is a graduate from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts in Copenhagen and Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. In recent years Lea Porsager has exhibited her work at a wide range of museums and art venues in Denmark and abroad. 

The artist’s current special display at SMK includes works she created especially for this display as well as a range of recent and older works by artists from Denmark and abroad. 

Explore the special display in room 222 inside the display of Dansk og Nordisk Kunst 1750-1900 Danish and Nordic Art 1750­­­–1900
11 November 2016 – 1 April 2017

Supported by Statens Kunstfond

Updated: 19.jun.2018
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