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Jette Hye Jin Mortensen: Generation. 2014 (Installation Wiev). Foto: Timme Hovind Jette Hye Jin Mortensen: Generation. 2014 (Installation Wiev). Foto: Timme Hovind

June 14 - September 7, 2014 Generation
Jette Hye Jin Mortensen

See pictures from the exhibition here

What are the implications of nationality, race and gender for modern man in an era of globalization, where both transnational adoption and new reproductive techniques challenge traditional notions of belonging, kinship and ancestry?

- And how does the adoptee negotiate the recipient country's policies or normalization efforts and the right to self-determination? Questions like these are central to Jette Hye Jin Mortensen's (b. 1980) performative, installation-based art practice that is most often based on autobiographical material.

The problematic affects Jette Hye Jin Mortensen closely. She was born in Seoul, but as a 2-year-old she was adopted to Denmark. This has led to consideration of what is strongest: the environment in which she grew up in this country or the genetic ties to South Korea, its language and culture.

Hye Jin Mortensen graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and has a background in music and experimental theater. She creates choreographic and storyline-based visual settings, which are characterized by a poetic and meditative atmosphere. – But also by a deeply personal and sometimes ruthless determination to destroy time-honored truths. A critical will that is everywhere translated into aesthetic, conceptual and research-based works full of symbols that engage the senses, the body and language.

The exhibition GENERATION consists of a large stage curtain made of sewn costumes in red silk organza. It forms the basis for a fictional political drama that – maybe, maybe not – can be staged sometime in the future. The actors – two deceased, two living and two not yet born – are present only through frozen DNA samples. Reference is made in different parts of the exhibition space to so-called Haplogroups indicating mutations in our DNA. Together these form a family tree, which in theory demonstrates that all living humans can be traced back to one common ancestor/ancestress. In video projectors we see actors engaged in physical and relational actions, which include the costumes and physical props in the stage curtain. Various installatory effects refer to the four elements – earth, fire, water and air – which also play a crucial role in the Korean culture sphere.

One must understand that it is not at least in the intrusive gazes of the surroundings that the adoptee recognizes and internalizes her own 'foreignness'. With Hye Jin Mortensen this vision trap seems to trigger an identification with the misfit or the rebellious youth, which is indicated by textual references to Doris Lessing's (1919-2013) book 'The Four-Gated City' from 1969.

Through fictional stories, drawing their resources from anti-authoritarian visions and a distinctive retro-futuristic aesthetics, Hye Jin Mortensen establishes a biotechnological and mind-expanding drama that connects us across racial categories and generations. In this way, GENERATION is addressed to man in past, present and future forms.

The exhibition is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, Holstebro Municipality and Musikteatret Holstebro (Holstebro Music Theatre).

GENERATION - Jette Hye Jin Mortensen is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue with texts by Anders Gaardboe Jensen, Jette Hye Jin Mortensen and Adam Bencard.