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Space is the Place: Contemporary art meets science fiction at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art
Black Star by Louise Sparre.
COPENHAGEN.- Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art presents Space is the Place, an exhibition curated by the artists Søren Hüttel og Søren Brøgger. Dystopian and Utopian future scenarios, visions of ‘the alien’, original props from the TV series Star Trek, artificial intelligence and objects sent into the stratosphere - these are just some of the experiences and themes that can be experienced first-hand, when 12 Danish and international artists show their works at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art.

The science fiction genre, which has its origins in literature and has since become a prominent, popular genre within TV and film, hasn’t received a great deal of attention within the Danish art world until now. We typically associate science fiction – also known by the more ironic abbreviation ‘sci-fi’ – with kitsch, time travel, distant galaxies, asteroids, role-play and much-caricatured B-movies. The curators behind the exhibition wish to welcome everyone into in this apparently nerdy universe, to present the public with new approaches to science fiction, and to show how art relates to the genre today. Science fiction often expresses either fear or enthusiasm for technological developments. Nerdy or not, many of its predictions have shown themselves to become reality sooner than anyone could have imagined. Therefore, science fiction can also become a image of our present expectations of the future.

The title has a double-meaning. It refers partly to the film Space is the Place from 1972 - i.e. to ‘space’ understood as galactic space; and partly to ‘space’ as an actual architectural space, including of course the exhibition space itself. The movie Space is the Place was an experimental film, with a soundtrack consisting of eclectic jazz. The film had political undertones, and was one of the first movies of its kind, possessing the kind of complexity which the exhibition hopes to embody.

With installations, sound- and photo art, sculptures, videos and paintings, the participating artists treat the science fiction genre from their own personal perspectives. In his video piece for example, Allan Curral juxtaposes the role of the artist with ‘the alien’. As a recurrent art-historical theme, low culture vs. high culture is explored and discussed. All of the participating artists have previously worked with science fiction, or have an interest in the subject. Many of them relate to its literary and filmic legacy, referencing existing science fiction works and productions in their pieces; either as nostalgic statements, or as politically critical comments on the genre.

Participating artists:
Jesper Carlsen (DK), Jonas Pihl (DK), Louise Sparre (DK), Søren Brøgger (DK), Jesper Dalgaard (DK), Ivan Andersen (DK), Trine Boesen (DK), Becky Bolton (UK) & Louise Chappell (UK), Kristoffer Ørum (DK) & Anders Bojen (DK), Søren Hüttel (DK), Jakob Rød (DK).

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Space is the Place: Contemporary art meets science fiction at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art

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