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Astrid Noacks Atelier

Rådmandsgade 34, 2200 København N

Performing Archive: Estate Bethlehem

Renée Ridgway

28.10.2017 - 12.11.2017


Performing Archive: Estate Bethlehem is a solo multimedia exhibition at Astrid Noack’s Atelier (ANA) from October 27 - November 12th 2017 by artist and researcher Renée Ridgway. The ‘transfer year’ 2017 marks the 100-year purchase of the former Danish West Indies by the United States for $25,000,000 in gold. This installation shows the transformation of the Bethlehem sugar plantation on St Croix, USVI through the lens of archival images during three distinct periods in history (plantation, factory, cultural centre). This installation draws on archival images from the National Archive of Denmark, the Royal Library, the USVI archive from the Library of Congress U.S., along with photos and video interviews gathered during a recent research trip to St Croix. The archives were first searched, then subjectively selected, thereby decontextualized from their collection and now (re)presented in situ at ANA forming a new archive. Historical documents, internet images and personal objects also surface, emulating the nature of migrating archives into the public sphere. From Danish colonial plantation maps, photographs of the past century by American imperialists, to present-day cultural activism, Performing Archive: Estate Bethlehem reflects a piece of land denatured by slavery, labour and trade and offers a view on the impact of these histories in the contemporary as well as their current politics.

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