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Marie Kirkegaard Gallery

Holbergsgade 17c, 1057 København K

MAIL: gallery@mariekirkegaard.com

TLF: +45 2012 3053

WEB: mariekirkegaard.com

Tirsdag-fredag 12-18. Lørdag 12-15

Nature Boy so Civilized

Mette Vangsgaard

12.05.2018 - 23.06.2018


We are delighted to welcome you to our new exhibition Nature Boy so Civilized by Mette Vangsgaard. This is Vangsgaard’s third solo show at the gallery, and she continues her humoristic but profound observations of everyday life and man’s existential cohesion with our surroundings, presenting a total installation of new works in ceramics and hand blown glass of cute animals, melting ice, tanned naturalists, a smiling sun, and a meteor.

Nature Boy so Civilized is a phrase from the track Totally Nude by Talking Heads. Their song is about a person, who has detached himself from civilization, living in the wild.

The focal point of the exhibition is the present state on Earth, where humanity’s impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including the alarming climate changes, is now so profound that a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – needs to be declared. Our moral ideas about, who to blame for the destruction of the biosphere is humanity as a whole. The problem is, as Mette Vangsgaard points out, that humanity can never be captured as a single unit due to the ever growing, extreme inequality of power relations. Again, we’re letting the big players go – everybody is guilty. Instead, perhaps we should articulate the decisive biological factor in the perspective of the certain way we have chosen civilization to be, and focus on how we convey things.

Like in Talking Heads’ Totally Nude, the idea about leaving civilization to start anew is a growing dream among us, as TV shows like Survivor and Alone challenges.  

In Nature Boy so Civilized Mette Vangsgaard captures how popular culture is used to make us feel bad, to give us a bad conscience, but it seems only momentarily, it is as it does not really bite on us, or as we cannot overcome the devastation. On the contrary, it rather invokes ideas about, that we are well adaptable beings to the changes, being close to nature, feel connected to nature. Thus the exhibition presents figurative works in ceramics and glass in Vangsgaard’s characteristic eclectic and unpolished style based on the imagery of popular culture, for example an emotional press photo of a polar bear on a tiny melting ice flake. Motives inspired by comic strips, pocket philosophical proverbs and a sticker of a grinning sun. The works capture the binary condition of man’s perception of nature: catastrophe and harmony, beauty and horror.

Mette Vangsgaard (b. 1968) lives and works in Copenhagen. She graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in1996, and in 2011 she was awarded the 3-year grant from the Danish Arts Foundation. She has exhibited widely, most recently, Liquid Sunshine, YOD Gallery, Osaka 2017; Vejle Museum of Art, 2016, and in 2017 she was commissioned to decorate Rosborg Gymnasium. Mette Vangsgaard is among else represented at Vejle Museum of Art, KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, Grimmerhus Museum of International Ceramic Art, The Danish Arts Foundation  and Vejen Museum of Art.

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