curated by Sabine Schaschl
Darkness can be many things. First of all, it is a physical phenomenon, the absence of light. With regard to the human psyche though, it conjures up numerous associations: We connect it with the subconscious, with the unfathomable, with feelings of fear and insecurity; as a metaphor, it essentially represents the eerie, the mystical, and death. However, at Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Danish artist Kirstine Roepstorff demonstrated that darkness can also enable a new way of looking at something existent, and signify an exploration of the perceptible.
Kirstine Roepstorff (b. 1972 in Virum, DK) has been addressing darkness and its meanings for several years. Proceeding from the observation that we live in a world where light (be it natural or artificial) stands for truth and knowledge, while darkness has predominantly negative connotations, this artist takes an interest in the latent sensory potential of darkness as a place of contemplation and reflection.
With the exhibition EX CAVE, Roepstorff concluded her trilogy on darkness, which she began with her presentation Influenza: Theatre of Glowing Darkness in the Danish pavilion at Biennale di Venezia 2017 under the heading “Dissolution” and continued with her large 2018 solo show Renaissance of the Night at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, where the theme was “Transformation”. At Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Roepstorff’s exhibition was as immersive as it was challenging, and all about “Becoming into Being” (or renewal). It encompassed one exhibition space on the fourth floor and all rooms on the fifth. It was set out as a half-lit route in transition from the dark of night to the brightness of a new day, along which the visitors explore a built, ostensibly barren landscape of sand, gravel and cement-plastered wall elements. The latter enriched the exhibition spaces with new niches and little rooms, thus creating a stimulating setting for roughly 60 of the artist’s works. These were all produced in the past twelve years and demonstrate the different materials, techniques and motifs that Roepstorff uses in her artistic practice.