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Henrik Menné: TL 90, 2014. Foto: Holstebro Kunstmuseum Henrik Menné: TL 90, 2014. Foto: Holstebro Kunstmuseum

June 14 - September 28, 2014 MACHINE!

The Machine has long been a central motif in visual arts. The exhibition MACHINE! presents works of seven artists, who interpret the machine and the concept of the machine in their own, original way. 

See pictures from the exhibition here

The machine has without doubt revolutionised life and living for modern human beings. It has eased our daily lives in countless ways, but it has also brought war and destruction. The machine is fascinating and terrifying at one and the same time. 
The machine, with its seductive and enigmatic meanings, has long been a central motif in the visual arts, but it was with the process of industrialisation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that it really moved into the artistic field. Artists of the time were fascinated by the new technological marvels, by the fast rhythms of transport, and by the possibility of using the machine to find an appropriate symbol for modern reality. But among these artists, we can also perceive a preoccupation with the darker and more destructive sides of the machine, as was for example to be revealed in the carnage of the First World War. 
The artists of our time continue to be fascinated by the machine, but nowadays their investigations tend to be primarily conducted in the light of the new ideas surrounding the machine in the post-industrial, digital age. 
The exhibition MACHINE! aims to illustrate the current form of expression of machine aesthetics, as artistic production divides itself between creation and destruction, between the mechanical, the optical and the virtual, between object and process, and between art, technology and science. The mechanical should therefore here be understood in both a concrete, visual and abstract sense, and in particular in terms of the ‘tools’ that are available to artists today in the form of new technical processes and methods. 
A number of the questions previously formulated by artists who dealt with the machine in the early 20th century are thereby reconsidered. These include: Are our perceptions of the machine still determined by the contradictions between hope, dreams and fear, between utopia and dystopia? Is the art machine an autonomous unit – or always just the work of man? In addition, the exhibition will thematise in various ways the relationship between artistic, bodily and mechanical productivity.
MACHINE! presents works by seven artists. Franciska Clausen’s (1899-1986) iconic Skruen (The Screw) from 1926 establishes a link to the past in the exhibition. Kristofer Hultenberg (SE, b. 1971), Uffe Isolotto (DK, b. 1976), Pernille With Madsen (DK, b. 1972), Henrik Menné (DK, b. 1973), Jørgen Michaelsen (DK, b. 1961) and Troels Sandegård (DK, b. 1979) have each produced new works for the exhibition, and all interpret the machine and the concept of the machine in their own, original ways. 
It should be borne in mind that the exhibition coincides with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. This event like no other underlined the fact that the machine had come to play a central role in the ‘primal catastrophe of man’. Many people have noted in this connection that there are disturbing parallels between the period around the First World War and our own time. It is at any rate certain that this historic event also changed the artistic idiom forever