The exhibition Ape Rules, O.K.! is dominated by a number of monumental monkeys’ heads that surround and stare down the visitors from central points in the exhibition space. Although the pieces are thematically related to Carstensen’s large exhibition projects over the last several years - Becoming Animal in Den Frie Exhibition Building and The Museum for Religious Art in Lemvig, as well as Dyregørelser at Galleri Tom Christensen - the exhibition at Steinprent is also curated with some new revelations in mind. A recent report on Faroese television concluded that a mere 21% of the Faroese population believes in the Theory of Evolution, which states the common ancestry of humans and apes. A shocking 52% of the population, on the other hand, proclaimed a belief in Creationism, i.e. the belief that humans are created by God or some sort of higher power.
The exhibition contains several references to the many years’ collaboration between Claus Carstensen and the Faroese lithographic workshop, Steinprent. This is apparent in some of the collages, which consist paintings onto which lithographic fragments have been applied - Fragments of lithographic works that have been created at the workshop. Furthermore, there are three pieces that, in a manner of speaking, return to their place of origin, in that they consist of elements of the lithographic process. Namely the green rubber mats from the lithographic presses, on which one can still make out three of Carstensen’s lithographic subjects.
The collaboration between Claus Carstensen and Steinprent, which has lasted for sixteen years so far, is weighty and significant. Also in relation to Faroese art and art history. So far, it has resulted in numerous shows and approximately one hundred lithographic works, as well as several book releases. For example: Dét, hvorom man hverken kan tale ellar tie and Lille Dæmonologi with essays by Søren Ulrik Thomsen and Carstensen’s heliographic prints.
In terms of his subject matter, which frequently orbits interhuman brutalisation, Carstensen can not be despribed as someone afraid of conflict. Whether it is the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge, the nazis or so-called common human behavior. The primary subject matter has been animals the last couple of times that Carstensen has been working at Steinprent. In 2015, in collaboration with Jan Andersson, Carstensen created the monumental Lithographic piece, Hvalp (Puppy). A piece depicting an aggresive barking German Shepherd, with a snippet of text, phrased as a death threat, taken from a hate mail sent to the Danish poet Yahya Hassan. It reads (loosely translated from Danish): “Fucking dog, you slut. You are going to die, puppy. You filthy whore. I really want to kill you. Fucking cut you in to tiny little pieces, you bum. I hope I will see you some day and I promise you Hell.”
The term Becoming Animal is the starting point for Carstensen’s subject matter. It is a phrase that he describes as a two-sided anthropological plane, on which both sides are interconnected. It delineates graduations of notions, such as: culture, conscientious occurences, self-awareness and human characteristics. The idea that humans are mindful of the fact that we do not live on an open, endless terrain, but see ourselves losing territory. Whereas animals see an unenclosed, unlimited and timeless landscape, where there is no ‘before’ or ‘after’ and therefore neither any consciousness of death. From Carstensen’s perspective, there is an agressive/active and a passive model of ‘Becoming Animal’. The passive side ‘Becoming Animal’ relates to an enormous longing for eternity. The active side ‘Creating Animal’ is about turning ‘the others’ into animals, with an awareness of an hierarchical elevation in relation to those that one degrades.
The spectator is taken aback by the apes’ glances and their abiguous nature. The open jaws with the agressive presentation of teeth versus the monkeys’ sorrowful expression indicates a form of thoughtfulness. ‘The Eyes Are the Windows to the Soul’ reflects on the significant symbolism that we impart on the eyes - In many ways, the notion of the ‘human particular’ lies in the glance. The ape that the Faroese society is now faced with became embarrassingly obvious in Heini í Skorini’s TV-documentary Gud signi Føroyar (God Bless the Faroe Islands), wherein the religious persuasions of the Faroese people was mapped out. Here it became clear, that the Faroe Islands are statistically more similar to some fundamentalist regimes in the world, in comparison to some of the other usual commonalities with Northern Europe.
Summer is a very busy time for the people who work in Steinprent, the lithographic workshop in Tórshavn. But somehow in between the many visitors, they seem to manage to get a lot of work done. Downstairs the exhibition by Randi Samsonsen is still on. Upstairs the Danish artist, Peter Callesen has been working at the workshop and his three lithographic works will be part of his exhibition in Steinprent in august.
The Faroese artist, Hansina Iversens works in the non representational field, she has finished a series of lithographic works this last week with fascinating material effects. They contain several layers of colour like the piece at the top of this page, which seems to have a burning sensation which is juxtaposed by the cool, strange transparent silver grey form on top. It has the shape and appearance of a spooky face, but it is in fact just an organic formation of colour.
Í gjár læt framsýningin hjá Randi Samsonsen In Search of Lost Colours upp í Steinprenti. Har vóru nógv fólk og lagið var gott í nýrenoveraða og kekkaða framsýningarhølinum, sum var ein flottur og væl hóskandi karmur kring tey bundnu, heklaðu, seymaðu og samansettu listaverkini. Framsýningin verður hangandi til 23.juni. Farið í Steinprenti og fáið tykkum eina góða, fjølbroytta og øðrvísi listauppliving.
In Search of Lost Colours
The opening of Randi Samsonsen’s exhibition ‘In Search of Lost Colours’ takes place at Steinprent (Tórshavn, Faroe Islands) on Saturday the 12th of May at 3pm.
Randi Samsonsen’s main medium is textile. Knitted, crocheted, sewn and stuffed artworks. Lithographic works have also been created for the exhibition.
The exhibition is conceptual. Both the lithographic and textile works have the same starting-point, which the artist has referred to as colour memories from the different homes that she grew up in and visited as a child. From childhood, we are blessed with an outstanding ability to sense our surroundings. With our untarnished senses, we see, smell, hear and feel the rooms surrounding us and the things in them so thoroughly, that we are able to relive these sensory recollections many years later.
Colours play a vital role in Randi Samsonsen’s memories, which is the reason for her empirical take on colour memories.
Through studies of family photo albums she has been making notes and colour charts, which she has been using for both her textile and graphic works. All of the pieces in the exhibition are fundamentally non-representational. Randi Samsonsen’s colour memories manifest themselves in organic shapes, which she places lying, standing or hanging in the space. Some pieces have very natural characteristics, reminiscent of coccons, hanging plant stems or bladder wracks. But the human body also plays a crucial role in these works, from an inspirational, as well as a comprehensive standpoint.
Randi Samsonsen’s textile work relates to the human body, with anthropomorphous shapes evocative of body parts, but this is also art that is to be understood in a complete physical, tactile and sensory manner. Several works are soft, whilst others possess a more rough exterior. The processes used for the creation of these pieces are a wide variety of needlework. The same, which for centuries, have been used to produce common everyday items. But Randi Samsonsen’s work forces a different perspective on this. Somewhere between the known and the unknown, her work surprises by making us laugh, frown and recall.
Randi Samsonsen lives and works in Tórshavn. She holds a Master of Design from the Designschool in Kolding, Denmark. She is a textile artist and also works as teacher at Glasir Tórshavn College. In 2013 she had a solo show at Nordatlantens Brygge, Copenhagen. She has curated several exhbitions at the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands, as well as taken part in a myriad of group shows in the Faroe Islands and internationally.
- Traditionsbrud, Hobro, Denmark
- IsThisKnit, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Aguille en Feté, Paris, France
- Our Arctic Future, Berlin, Germany
Jack Kampmann was a Danish artist who became a very important figure in the development of Faroese modern art. He lived in the Faroe Islands for many years with his wife and children. He arranged art exhibitions and also he was a teacher in the first Faroese art school. Faroese artist, Ingálvur av Reyni has acknoledged Kampmann as one of his most important mentors.
The exhibition runs from 4ht of May to the 22nd of July 2018
On the 4th of May the exhibition "Jack Kampmann - A Modernist on the Faroe Islands" opens at the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands.
Nils Ohrt, director, bids welcome. Hanna Kampmann, daughter of the artist, opens the exhibition.
Lea and Janus Kampmann play a couple of songs.
Everyone is welcome to the opening of the exhibition. The museum is open every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also on holidays
Forlagið Eksil has released the second poetry collection "Korallbruni", by poet Anna Malan Jógvansdóttir. Her first collection "Undirfloyma" was published in 2015, and in 2016 she was awarded the Culture Prize for Young Artists by the Faroese Cultural Ministry.
Anna Malan Jógvansdóttir is 23 years old and is currently a student at the Literature College "Forfatterskolen" in Copenhagen. Anna Malan has illustrated both collections herself.
Anna Malan says that "Korallbruni" is an attempt to write herself out of human nature and into nature and let nature take control. Anna Malan is inspired by the posthuman and nature-philosophic trend which currently is much in fashion on the Nordic art and literature scene. With this poetry collection Anna Malan wants to remind us that we need to reconsider our place on Earth, and that earthly matter is not just dead and idle but a part of everything, not least ourselves.