COPENHAGEN.- René Schmidts exhibition ITS MY BODY! is all about seeing the world through the eyes of a six-year-old girl Schmidts own daughter.
ITS MY BODY! presents a number of figurative 3D-prints of girls and women made from sampled and modified 3D-scans. The sculptures break with gender stereotypes to show the public the all but weaker sex as cool role models rather than cute puppets or shapely objects of voyeurism. In the exhibition we are confronted with i.a. an aggressive child putting up a fight. Resisting classifications, patterns of gender roles and culturally based regulations.
In Schmidts universe quiet modesty is not considered a virtue; noisy play and creativity, on the other hand, are. And a girls room painted pink is only tolerable, as long as the girl occupying it has a distinctly colourful personality to make up for this monochromatic manifestation. Codes of practice, conclusive definitions and commands are not to be taken too seriously and any doll version made of you should at least never be a puppet.
The exhibition ITS MY BODY! is a carnivalesque procession of anti-stereotypes that highlights women as proud and active subjects. Subjects who only feel contempt towards the simulations permeating modern society and who oppose the power structures and tradition-bound systems that characterise our culture.ITS MY BODY! paints a picture of the world, in which ugliness, anger and recklessness havent been tucked away or suppressed, but hold their natural positions. A universe, in which girls do not wish for pretty dresses or Lego Friends, but prefer camouflage-overalls and Star Wars-figures and would rather listen to bedtime stories about enterprising and independent queens than passive and helpless princesses.
In the last few years René Schmidt has primarily concerned himself with the female as subject in an attempt to create more powerful, contemporary and complex portrayals of women. As a response to womens objectification and exploitation, not only in the public domain but also throughout art history, he has created a series of sculptures which celebrate the natural, cool woman.
The heroic and at times self-destructive figures do not portray women as mere bodies, but as monumental, multifaceted individuals. Printed in a rough resolution and modified in a crystalline mode to accentuate the many qualities and aspects of the individual, the figures point to the strength and multidimensionality of women.
With his distinct method of modelling which leaves the surface somewhat flawed and marked by irregularities Schmidt seeks to emphasize the imperfections and the diversity that exist in each human being as well as in society in general.
René Schmidt graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2000 and has exhibited widely both in Denmark and abroad.
In close cooperation with Søren Taaning he is the principal organiser of Skovsnogen Art Space, a theme park which unites contemporary art with outdoor life, nature experiences and activities for the entire family. In a 25 hectares large area in Skarrild Plantation in the middle of the cultural landscape in Western Jutland, 13 young artists have created more than 30 unique works of art. See www.skovsnogen.dk.
René Schmidt is currently working on one of the largest, interior art decorations in Denmark at Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark. Two monumental concrete reliefs will be erected in the atrium, linking together the different floors of the building.