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29 Jun 2012

Grazer Kunstverein Opening Gitte Villesen

Gitte Villesen: 'I had no other choice than to jump (…)', 2012 (Videostill

Gitte Villesen: I had no other choice than to jump from one pile to the other, as there was nothing in between
Grazer Kunstverein


Opening Friday, 29 June 2012 Duration 30 June - 25 August 2012

Tanja Gurke
+43 316 834141
+43 316 834142

Grazer Kunstverein
Palais Trauttmansdorff, Burggasse 4
8010 Graz

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The documentary videos and installations by Danish artist Gitte Villesen (*1965) can be understood as portraits in the broadest sense: they explore the form in which individuals or social groups give shape to their lives within the framework of their cultural possibilities. Yet their protagonists appear neither as heroic subjects nor as victims of circumstances. Instead, Villesen illuminates how subjects and identities are constituted in the everyday micro-politics of gestures, habits and rituals in the charged relationship between norm and deviation. At the same time, she carefully avoids social generalizations by situating the practice of documenting itself as exchange and encounter – as a specific form of social interaction, in which the forms of representation always become the subject of negotiation as well.

In addition to a new video work, produced in cooperation with the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen, Gitte Villesen's exhibition in the Grazer Kunstverein will focus on her more recent works, for which she has traveled several times to Gambia since 2008. The point of departure for these works is the encounter with the Gambian musician Amadou Sarr, with whom Villesen has entered into a long-term cooperation that introduces her to the social texture of his culture as well as the magical practices of Juju. In the course of her projects, Villesen expands this cooperation, for example by recording conversations with three women related to Sarr, Yenden Joff, Mariama Corr and Mariama Senghor, or by asking Mariama Senghor to make the curtains for her installations. On the whole, Villesen's works follow an ethics of documenting, which can be succinctly described with the words of the author Ursula LeGuin: 'The story is not all mine, nor told by me alone.'

Gitte Villesen lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin. Numerous international exhibitions and contributions to exhibitions, including: „Shaped by Time', Danish National Museum, Copenhagen (2012); 'squatting. erinnern, vergessen, besetzen', Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin (2010); 'I will Arrange Everything. It Will Be the Best Film Ever', Casco, Utrecht (2009); 'Just Different', Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam (2008); 'Juju White Magic', Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen (2008); 'How to Build a Universe' at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2006); Danish Pavillon, 51. Venice Biennial, Venice (2005).

Screening and talk with Gitte Villesen
Sunday, 1 July 2012 at 3 pm

On the evening of Friday, 29 June 2012, Grazer Kunstverein, Camera Austria, Kunstverein Medienturm and open their exhibitions from 6 till 10 pm.

Shuttle service Vienna - Graz - Vienna
A shuttle bus between Vienna and Graz will be provided free of charge for the night of the exhibition openings on 29 June 2012.
Departure Vienna: 3 pm, Oper/bus stop IKEA-Bus
Departure Graz: 11 pm, K¸nstlerhaus, Burgring

Exhibitions in Dialogue

Curator's tour through all four CMRK-exhibitions with Reinhard Braun (Camera Austria) and Daniel Pies (Grazer Kunstverein) on Wednesday, July 4th at 3 pm. Meeting point: Grazer Kunstverein.