Rivers of Emotion, Bodies of Ore
September 13 – December 21, 2018
Examining the concept of Extraction, Kunsthall Trondheims exhibition is an intersectional exploration, correlating the exploitation of the Earth with that of the human body, to compare the actual materiality of digital hardware with the promise of the immaterial experience it seduces us with.
Patricipating artists include: Lise Autogena & Joshua Portway, Liv Bugge, David Blandy, Sean Dockray, Marianne Heier, Louis Henderson, Lawrence Lek, Hanna Ljungh, Ignas Krunglevičius, Rikke Luther, Eline McGeorge, Karianne Stensland, Anja Örn, Tomas Örn & Fanny Carinasdotter.
The exhibition is curated by Lisa Rosendahl.
Extraction is a phenomenon commonly associated with fossil fuels, such as oil and gas, or with the mining of metals and minerals. In the digital era, the notion of extraction has expanded even further, to also include data- and virtual currency mining as well as the commodification of human emotions and behaviours through social media. In the 21st century the extractive paradigm seems to be without bounds: plans for mining previously unreachable territories such as the deep-sea floor and celestial bodies are well underway, all the while the shoals of data we leave behind while conducting our everyday lives are being captured, mapped and profited from, commodifying even the most intimate aspects of our own minds and bodies.
Examining various nodes – geographical, economical, material and historical – where different forms of extraction intersect allows for an interdisciplinary understanding of these processes and their consequences. To correlate the exploitation of the Earth with that of the human body, for example, or to compare the actual materiality of digital hardware with the promise of the immaterial experience it seduces us with, enables a more integrated insight into the subject than approaching it via separated categories.
For the exhibition in Trondheim, the Kunsthall will itself become one such site of intersectional exploration, placing a number of artworks and historical materials in dialogue with each other. Using Trondheim’s history of copper extraction as a starting point, the exhibition aims to open up a wider field of actual connections and imaginative associations spanning various geographical and digital domains as well as the human subconscious and social fabric.
The exhibition also asks the question of how to understand art in relation to extraction: in a thousand years from now, when both Earth’s resources and the human consciousness might have been depleted of its resources, will artworks be the only remaining fossils bearing witness to the emotional landscapes once inhabited by humans?