Lecture Performance by Gernot Wielan
Random walk is a mathematical formalization of a path that consists of a succession of unforeseeable steps. For example, the path traced by a molecule as it travels in a liquid or a gas, the search path of a foraging animal, the price of a fluctuating stock and the financial status of a gambler can all be modeled as random walks, although they may not be truly random in reality. First introduced as a term in 1905, “random walks” have been used in many fields: ecology, economics, psychology, computer science, physics, chemistry, and biology.
The exhibition Random Walks invites artists from Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and the Ukraine to develop new site-specific works for Kunsthal 44 Møen and its – natural and cultivated – surroundings. Employing both scientific and pseudo-scientific methods, as well as process and chance, they respond to the island of Møn in various ways, departing from it’s geological, agricultural, architectural conditions and from individual stories. Together, they formulate a critical yet playful approach towards the notion of human and natural memory, the use of land and resources, and the various elements that define the terms “nature”, “culture” and “environment”.
Anton Burdakov (b. 1982 in Kiev, Ukraine, lives in Berlin) explores transitions between spaces and states through objects and model-making, focusing on the spatial dimensions of personal relationships. For Random Walks he has produced a new set of metal sculptures whose designs are based on molecular structures relating to the geological makeup of his chosen hometown Berlin, as well as to the island of Møn (Quartz and Calcite, both 2016). Both structures are filled with objects alluding to narratives arising from the interaction of human activities and landscape. The physical manifestation of objects in the exhibition space is complemented by a durational installation with participation from art and architecture students, taking place in July, that raises questions about how one wishes to live by tackling an actual architectural problem.
Tue Greenfort (b. 1973 in Holbaek, Denmark, lives in Berlin) pursues an interdisciplinary practice rooted in a deep fascination with the natural world and often evolving around issues of ecology, biodiversity, and cultural history. On Møn, the artist went on a solitary walk in and around Liselund Park, an idealized landscape built in the 18th century on private property. The installations The Romantic Walk (2016), and Pesticide Trace (2008), involving GPS recordings, photographs, and video, explore different conceptions of “nature” – the untouched, the romantically idealized and the agriculturally utilized – and further reflect upon notions of property, production, and exploitation. On the terrace, a bloc of limestone is exposed to erosion, and a savaged greenhouse provides space for interspecies entanglement.
Toril Johannessen (b. 1978 in Harstad, Norway, lives in Bergen) engages in scientific topics through empirical and theoretical investigation and storytelling. For A Journey to an Island (2016), she visited the small island of Lindholm between Møn and Sjælland, which still houses the Division of Virology of the DTU National Veterinary Institute, soon to be relocated to Lyngby near Copenhagen. The outcome of the journey is an interview with former researcher Kristian Dalsgaard, published in the local newspaper Ugebladet for Møn. It is a reflection on the nature of viruses, on memory and disappearance, accompanied by an installation of soap-fuelled boats. Also on view is Words and Years (2010–15), a series of silkscreen graphs based on research into the appearance of certain terms in various academic journals and magazines.
Ulrike Mohr (b. 1970, lives in Berlin) utilizes material transformation processes that are influenced not only by research and handed-down knowledge, but also by chance occurrences. Over the past years, the almost extinct practice of burning char has become a central modus operandi in her work. Her new installation Slicing Time (2016) takes this practice to a new level: the artist retrieved a dead beech that had fallen off Møns Klint, dissected it and transformed it into charcoal by burning it in absence of oxygen until the wood is rendered chemically eternal. The tree is presented hanging horizontally in the exhibition space, aligned with a trail of chalk chunks on the floor, each section showing a chapter of its lifespan preserved in carbon. First shrunk in the charburner, then extended again through its spatial arrangement, the trunk draws a dynamic line through space, complemented by the fine curves of a carbonized liana. The meshwork that contained the slices is a leftover from the carbonizing process, which the artist invites a broader audience to practice by themselves during a workshop in July.
Gernot Wieland (b. 1968 in Horn, Austria, lives in Berlin) works mainly with film, drawing, and lecture performances in order to examine psychological conditions in society and in human beings. In most of his works he includes various layers of narration and multiple references through small sculptures, photos, drawings and collages. The format of the lecture performance plays an important role in his practice, interweaving historical reports, personal recollections and scientific data. For Random Walks, Wieland will present his new lecture performance To turn every ending into a beginning (2016), which deals with the perception of space, balancing between truth and fiction, tragi-comic incidents and a sense of the uncanny. The layered narration includes Franz Kafka, rafts, community gardening, memories of the artist’s catholic childhood and stairways, while digging into the history of psychiatry.
The exhibition is conceived as a dialogical process, providing an opportunity for the artists to work on site in Møn for a period of time to develop their projects and engage with potential audiences. Randow Walks is intended to grow throughout its duration over the summer, and will be substituted by a number of talks, lectures, performances, workshops, and walks.
Curated by: Eva Scharrer
Supported by: Augustinus Fonden, 15. juni Fonden, Knud Højgaardsfond, Statens Kunstfond, Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Goethe Institut, Vordingborg Kommunes Udviklings og markedsføringspulje and Møns Klint, Naturstyrelsen Storstrøm.