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09 Nov 2010

Helle Mardahl: The Tribe on a Pedestal at Wonderland Art Space, Copenhagen

Helle Mardahl: The Tribe on a Pedestal
WAS - Wonderland Art Space


November 5 – December 4, 2010 Opening Hours: mon-fri 12-17

Amanda Bloch
+45 3322 3343

WAS - Wonderland Art Space
Absalonsgade 21 b
1658 Copenhagen V

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WAS – Wonderland Art Space presents:

EXHIBITION PERIOD: November 5 – December 4 2010

Statuettes and distorted body shapes on pedestals all rendering the impression of an extravagant and upper class milieu. Characters inducing thoughts of the extravagant, luxury and the divine – the unattainable that we may not envy but might be encouraged to strive for. For the second time WAS-Wonderland Art Space proudly presents a sumptuous solo-exhibition with the Danish artist Helle Mardahl. From large-scale paintings to textile- and glass sculptures, the exhibition The Tribe on A Pedestal unfolds into a theatrical cast of players ready to cause mischief and mayhem.

As a new generation in the typical Helle Mardahl universe, The Tribe on A Pedestal presents a new cast of characters. Quirky and extravagant, decadent yet faltering statuettes who all possess a rich, pompous exterior – beautiful and decadent, as on the top of a pedestal! Yet with an underlying fragility, with their thin, almost staggering under-constructions, that never quite stands on their own, but leans up against a table leg, a shoe or a cushion. Always colourful and seemingly polished installation-surfaces are juxtaposed with Helle Mardahl's group of oddball characters. Associating our contemporaries, they illuminate a culture of overconsumption and confront an increasing demand of status symbols in a world where diamonds and teddy bears are confused with love, social positioning and attention.

The Tribe On A Pedestal is about entering a scene. It's about our need as tribes, to be alike. It's about our fear of the different, our judgements, social norms and agendas, social hierarchies, positions, divisions and roles. The Tribe On A Pedestal pinpoints a collective idea of the perfect society and the perfect social image, which has been formed by many generations. It highlights its imperfections, and debates the tendency toward staging something or someone.

As a scene filled with energy, tensions and clashes, the different statuettes and characters on pedestals tells about the need to let the unseen be seen, the different stay different - and about opening the scene for a bigger audience!

Helle Mardahl (1976) studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2001.