How am I
The Quest for a new Identity
Text by Art historian and Art Critic, Trine Ross
We tend to forget that our identity is negotiable and is constantly being negotiated around and inside us. But when we forget, the artworks of Mille Kalsmose are here to remind us.
The ongoing project, All My Suicides, which has so far resulted in both a Part One, Two and Three consists of Kalsmose's five official name changes – from the name, ”Henriette Olesen”, she was christened through several variations until she reached her present name, ”Mille Kalsmose-Hjelmborg”, in 2008.
The name we are given by our parents reveals many aspects of our selves. Most names are gender specific, but they often also reveal our nationality, age and background. But names can be changed and maybe we can change with them.
Behind each new name taken by Kalsmose lies a wish for change and a will to take charge of her own destiny – and identity.
All My Suicides consists of three parts. Part I has five, two meter high cylinder shaped lit columns in plexiglass, which contains different name- and birth certificates all belonging the artist herself. There is one column for each of the five name changes, which Mille Kalsmose-Hjelmborg has taken during the laste 10 years. From her first name Henriette Olesen, which she was born under in 1972, until her existing name, which she took in 2008.
The Second part of the work is an installation of five lightning headstones in plexiglass and LED light.
In All My Suicides - Part Three Kalsmose lies her former identities to rest and unite all headstones in One, and come together again. Thereby reminding us, that even as we change, evolve or just grow older, we still carry some of our past as part of the present, painful or joyous as it may be. And only by facing this fundamental fact we can truly ... change.