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Kunsthal 44 Møen

Fanefjordgade 44, 4792 Askeby

MAIL: info@44moen.dk

TLF: +45 2392 7119

WEB: 44moen.dk

Onsdag - søndag 11-17


Emilia Bergmark

23.06.2019 - 08.09.2019


Exhibition opening of 'Burnout' by Emilia Bergmark. A mixed media installation revolving around a duologue between a burnt-out worker bee from the Danish honey industry and a male bumblebee from Sweden. As part of the exhibition Bergmark has invited Glasgow based Danish artist Maria Gondek to participate with a work for the exhibition. Gondek's work 'Nectar Well' is a equivocal take on a office water cooler inviting visitors to have a drink of sugar water of the same kind as the honey bee gets in exchange for its honey in the bee industry. 

For the occasion of the opening the performance 'Sweet Deal' will be performed by Judith Kleinemeier. Time of performance announced later in the week. 

The opening will be at Kunsthal 44 Møen from 16.00 on the 22 of June. There will be drinks and food. 

The exhibition is curated by Julia Rodrigues and made possible with the generous support from Statens Kunstfond and Grosserer L.F Foghts Fond.

Text by Julia Rodrigues, 2019

 “The environment is not a commodity but it is rather the biosphere that sustains all life that we know of” - John Bellamy Foster in Ecology Against Capitalism.

 BURNOUT is a newly commissioned installation by Swedish artist Emilia Bergmark. The work, inspired by Bergmark’s interest in humans’ commodification of nature is conceived as an allegorical narrative in response to the landscapes around us, which are permeated, conceived and organized by human logic and production apparatuses. 

Bergmark built a setting composed of a number of interior design objects inspired by the approach to nature that is often found in the interior décor of institutional contexts. The artist has amplified certain qualities of the objects through the use of elements conceived to meet a “bees-perspective”: a woolen room divider with a motif of cultivated fields, a bench with six legs, a still life with flowers and insects captured in UV light and a drinking fountain containing sugar-water.

The sugar water is a recurring element in the exhibition. It refers to a common practice of beekeepers feeding colonies artificially.  Bergmark has invited artist Maria Gondek to contribute to the show with the work 'Nectar Well' – offering sugar water to the visitors at the Kunsthal. 

This scenography, a pollinators- friendly environment from the perspective of a human interior designer, is constructed as the waiting room of a fictional institution, in a time-pressured culture of high-performance. In such a space, where we are typically simply asked to wait, in a state where decisions are deferred and we are held in a state of limbo, we become the witnesses of an unfolding dialogue between two other waiting entities: a burned-out working-bee from the honey industry in the outskirts of Denmark and a chauvinistic male bumblebee from Sweden.

The conversation between the two bees touches upon issues of working conditions and pressing contemporary environmental concerns. The unpaid bee in the piece Burnout reminds us of George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, where exploited animals organize a rebellion to take over a farm. Bergmark uses Orwell’s same strategy of humanizing animals in order to create an allegory and a commentary on contemporary social, political and environmental issues. In her piece, she draws a parallel between human working conditions within the capitalistic system of production and the unpaid work that bees perform pollinating crops and producing honey within the same economic system.

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