By: Curator Aukje Lepoutre Ravn
SITE-Seeing at Traneudstillingen is a total-installation including audio, lights and visuals, all installed in a purpose build dark room at Gentofte Bibliotek.
For the past 12 years Mille Kalsmose-Hjelmborg’s work has revolved around the concept of identity and its cultural and context-based relations – and regularly by including self-biographical themes. In the project, Kalsmose-Hjelmborg stages an audience-participating examination of concepts such as absorption, reflection, transcendens and consciousness, and their relation to and terms in the public space.
At the entrance to the dark room, SITE-Seeing is written in milk-white neon, inviting the audience inside into another world. A circle of white-draped cloth is hovering above a circular plinth, which is enlightened by powerful white light. The light-beams emerges from beneath and is reflected to the top of the cloth-circle via small mirrors installed in the ceiling. A video is projected, looping, on the wall of the dark room, showing the artist herself lying on a bed, eyes closed, having a trancelike conversation. As well the audio as the video originates from a hypnosis session with the artist. The spectator is invited to lie down on the plinth – front or back up – and listen to the hypnosis audio and/or to look up into the light and sense the atmosphere in the space.
In the context of the exhibition space Traneudstillingen, being at a library and thereby publicly accessible room that requires learning, absorption and
contemplation, Kalsmose-Hjelmborg investigates how such states of mind can be challenged in new ways. SITE-Seeing asks the question whether it is desirable and possible to relate to oneself and ones inner. Do the audience dare to take the journey on an internal sightseeing – into themselves?