Hesselholdt & Mejlvang (DK)

9 – 31 January 2015

Opening 6 – 9pm, Thursday 8th January

The Danish artist duo Hesselholdt & Mejlvang has apparently invited us to a party. Ribbons, Flags and pleated decorations fill the room with red, white and black colours as if it were a special national occasion that was to be celebrated. But the stage is empty, and like guests who have arrived too late the audience is left with the remains – among them a roaring lion enthroned in the middle of the room and a stuffed common buzzard standing in the majestic posture of a German eagle, the feathers painted for war. The installation also contains veiled ceramic plates, occult patchwork wallhangings and an architectural model of a barricaded house.

One of the typical traits of Hesselholdt & Mejlvang’s art is that they work with several different media such as ceramics, sculptures and installation art. They combine recognisable symbols and objects from the culture around us – for example the flag and the pentagram with their identifiable but ambiguous references. One also often meets furniture and fittings in the scenography’s that the artists have taken out of the safe framework of the home. These different modes of artistic expression are joined up by a general scrutiny of society. However, the works offer no clear-cut messages – they remain open to interpretation.

The occult, bleak atmosphere in Homeland Security characterises a recurring theme of national self-understanding. What in many other contexts is perceived as pleasant or festive, in the work of the artist duo takes a threatening, unapproachable twist that questions the way nationality is often practiced.

Sofie Hesselholdt and Vibeke Mejlvang have worked as an artists’ duo since 1999 and graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2006. Since then they have maintained a prominent presence within Danish contemporary art, staging exhibitions at museums and galleries and receiving prestigious awards and accolades for their critical works, which offer wry commentaries on the values that underpin the Western world. In 2014 Hesselholdt and Mejlvang’s work has primarily focused on activities in the Nordic countries, presenting large-scale solo exhibitions at Turku Art Museum in Finland, Oslo Kunstforening in Norway, and Norrtälje Konsthall in Sweden.

View previous exhibition Little Blonde Girl at Charlotte Fogh Gallery, Aarhus, Denmark

Download Hesselholdt & Mejlvang CV