Opening of the next stage of the exhibition with artworks by the artists:
La Vaughn Belle, Javier Tapia, Trine Mee Sook Gleerup,
Nanna Debois Buhl and Julie Edel Hardenberg
Friday January 20th at 5-8pm
Exhibition period: January 5th – May 14th 2017
On Friday January 20th Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. In that context it seems appropriate that we invite you to the opening of the second stage of our exhibition Unravelings, in which we will focus on the centenary of Denmark’s sale of the Virgin Islands to the US as well as on colonial structures. The election of Trump as President reminds us that freeing a people is not necessarily equivalent to corresponding privileges, and that decolonisation of land or a populace does not mean the end of old structures of power.
La Vaughn Belle, Learning To Be, 2016; Julie Edel Hardenberg, no title, 2017; Javier Tapia, Floating worlds, 2017
2017 is the centenary of Denmark’s sale of three Virgin Islands to the US. At meter we mark this through the exhibition Unravelings, a five-month exhibition in which we will look at Denmark as a colonial power, and how this affects today’s society and our sense of national identity. The exhibition will slowly take form, develop and expand over the five-month long exhibition period. In this context we would like to invite you to an expansion of the exhibition with artworks by five national and international artists that are preoccupied with and examine past and present colonial structures.
For 250 years these islands were exploited as a profitable sugar industry, based on slave labour. Three quarters of the islands' population today are the descendants of slaves and the structural and mental imprints of colonialism are still evident. Architectural details and street names bear witness to the Danish presence on the islands. Conversely colonialism helped to finance the Danish state and the construction of many of the historic buildings in Copenhagen. Our ownership of the islands influenced the development of Denmark both economically and structurally. But what about the mental imprints left on us by colonialism? Is an awareness of this part of our past only upheld through a sense of history or does it also influence our understanding of ourselves?
Nanna Debois Buhl, There Is This House, 2008; Trine Mee Sook Gleerup, Racial Representation, 2013-
In her artistic practice La Vaughn Belle researches how Danish culture and colonization has had an influence on the people of the Virgin Islands and their sense of identity, the structures of society and memory.
Javier Tapia engages in how race and ethnicity is visualised and how this affects our understanding of otherness.
The artwork Racial Representation by Trine Mee Sook Gleerup is also centred around ethnic stereotyping and consists of a collection of food items that exemplifies this form of imagery.
As a part of her practice Nanna Debois Buhl has researched Denmark’s role as a former colonial power in the Caribbean and the visual traces that have been left behind both on the Virgin Islands and in Denmark.
Julie Edel Hardenberg looks at how Danish culture influences the Greenlandic self-image and questions the idea that the people of Greenland are a uniform community.
meter is a non-profit exhibition space centred around curatorial experimentation. During our first two years we will create exhibitions that take an investigative and critical view of society and structures within society through art and artistic practices.