press release

Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center proudly presents the exhibition Lost and Found - Queerying the Archive, an international show of 13 contemporary artists focussing on memory and history in relationship to gender and sexuality.

How can we create an archive of the private memories of gender, love and sexuality that have been erased by official archives and excluded from the writing of history? How do we record and store feelings and intimacy? Lost and Found presents a series of spectacular, thought-provoking works addressing these issues through artistic visions of histories compiled and performed from a queer perspective.

Using the potent and emotionally laden detritus of society, like silent movie footage, a jukebox archive of pop songs and alternative family photo albums, the art works in Lost and Found reconstruct the past as (we think) we know it. Using photography, video and installations, the artists in the exhibition challenge official versions of history with humour and intelligence, tenderness and rage.

Elmgreen & Dragset, for example, invite the viewer into a universe where over 500 framed photographs provide glimpses of queer life based on friendship, desire and community, whilst Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay investigates the untranslatability of emotion with sound bites from 1,000 love songs. Mary Coble's powerful work Blood Script is the result of a marathon performance where the artist had terms of abuse, including homophobic slurs, tattooed without ink on her body - resulting In 75 blood prints on water-colour paper pressed against her flesh. The video artist Aleesa Cohene has created a work specifically for the exhibition during a residency in Copenhagen. The resulting video installation is a carefully composed compilation of hundreds of fragments of Hollywood films, sampling women's roles from mainstream culture in a very different storyline between two women. On the weekend of July 25th & 26th passing women (and men) can visit Heidi Lunabba's outdoor Barber Salon, choose their own personalised beard, and experience a temporary gender and identity transformation.

Participating artists: Elmgreen & Dragset (DK/NO), Mary Coble (US), Ingo Taubhorn (DE), Tejal Shah (IN), Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay (CA), Conny Karlsson (SE), Flemming Rolighed (DK), Aleesa Cohene (CA), Kimberly Austin (US), Cecilia Barriga (CL) and Heidi Lunabba (FI), Al Masson (FR/DK).

The exhibition is curated by Jane Rowley and Louise Wolthers.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue with perspectives on queer art, the archive and activism by Jane Rowley & Louise Wolthers, Mathias Danbolt, Ann Cvetkovich, Joe Brainard and Heather Love.

Lost and Found - Queerying the Archive
Kuratoren: Jane Rowley, Louise Wolthers

Künstler: Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Mary Coble, Ingo Taubhorn, Tejal Shah, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Conny Karlsson, Flemming Rolighed, Aleesa Cohene, Kimberly Austin, Cecilia Barriga, Heidi Lunabba, Al Masson