The Shape of Us
Through her artistic practice Mille Kalsmose investigates identity and relationships, and her solo exhibition ‘The Shape of Us’ introduces a new body of works based on the breakdown of our common thinking patterns. ‘The Shape of Us’ consists of five art installations composed of iron,living organisms, blood, algae, moss, rocks, silk, wood, fragments of plaster and sound inputs.
The works relate to the relationship between outer- and inner-life and bring visitors on a journey between mankind and the world around us. The show presents elements from the outer space, examines human development and studies the interpersonal proximity one can experience in the family. Relationships between human existence and the surrounding world, between materiality and technology, are some of the key points in Mille Kalsmose’s artworks and overall practice.
The artworks are large-scale installations, yet constructed in a very detail-oriented way, using delicate and fragile materials contrasting many of the robust iron structures. The works point towards the fact that humans are only a fraction in the big worldview; when we start analyzing closer, we are suddenly confronted with our own human insignificance. However, through the artworks one can also feel a sense of humanity, of the personal and identifying character, shining through the abstract constructions. The artist creates space for personal experiences and identity development, and by interlacing the material and the conceptual, human aspect, she gives ‘body’ to our inner processes and also insists on the inherent qualities of objects.
Through her art, Mille Kalsmose looks at how everything vibrates and exists, in other words; the individual and the object are not presented as each other’s opposites in Mille Kalsmose’s universe. You see this clearly in the work titled ‘Cosmic Family’ where NASA’s sound recordings from Saturn’s rings play an important role in the work. Sound is also one of the main elements of the work ‘Vibrant Matter’. The work was created in collaboration with neurologist Peter Michael Nielsen and psychologist Alex Ashot Ikilikian, and with its soundtrack, it relates to sound, vibration and, not least, our origin. At the same time, the work also carries references to the way in which psychiatric patients are treated in many Danish health institutions nowadays.
Horsens Art Museum’s collaboration with Mille Kalsmose began in 2014 with the exhibitionproject ‘Searching for a Mother’, presented at the museum in the autumn same year. Relationships, based on the bonds established within a family, were the overall theme of the exhibition, and the artist was examining whether the mother-daughter relationship can be built without biological attachments. Since then, we have been following her work closely and when she presented ‘Vibrant Matter’ at CCA Andratx in Mallorca in the summer of 2017, we had no doubt that time had come to invite Mille Kalsmose to exhibit at Horsens Art Museum again. With ‘The Shape of Us’, Mille Kalsmose proves a major artistic development. With the exhibition, one sees the continuity and eternal development of both the concepts and the artworks in their physical form. The exhibition appears as an overall picture of the artistic point of view of Mille Kalsmose’s, but it also examines the time and ways of existence that we as human beings must relate to.