I Am Our Common Pronoun takes its title from I Civil (2012), a book by the Danish writer and artist Amalie Smith, which considers the body as a porous container of shards that connect and separate us from the world and each other. This exhibition shares Smith’s exploration of the self in contemporary life: how it is constituted through language — and by extension all modes of representation — and how, therefore, it can also be expanded or broken down in an effort to express identification, empathy, love, and belonging.
Through the work of eleven emerging artists and collectives living in five Nordic countries, this exhibition traces experiences, experiments, and propositions for imagining the self in contemporary society as something constructed and broken apart by networked culture, migration, increased isolation, and gender fluidity. The exhibition presents works that depart from a rigorous self-examination, in which the body is considered a form akin to others; it may function as a medium, thought of in terms of sculpture and/or performance, as a way to consider what it means to identify with the needs, desires, and suffering of others.
I Am Our Common Pronoun is, therefore, a declaration of collective identification which is as much a proposition for inclusion as it is a threat to the self’s (imagined) sovereignty.
This exhibition is the second public component of a three-year long research project on emerging artists in the Nordic countries, initiated by Christoffersen as a response to CHART’s invitation to curate CHART EMERGING 2017 in Copenhagen in late August. ‘Emerging’, in this project, refers to artists, who, having completed the formal educational phase of their development, have recently put forth a distinct position within the larger artistic landscape. ‘Emerging’ therefore does not refer to an age as much as a budding moment of artistic development.
CHART is a Copenhagen-based Nordic art fair and exhibition platform working to strengthen and promote the nordic cultural scene in the Nordic region and internationally. With CHART EMERGING, CHART investigates and promotes the young generation of Nordic artists in order to strengthen the field for future generations.