InstantHerlev institute, clay fire pit and clay artworks burnt for the SOIL exhibition, 2017.

SOIL curated by Anja Franke at SixtyEight Art Institute with works produced by various artists on site at InstantHERLEV institute.

SOIL – With Ingrid Book and Carina Hedén, Anja Franke, Esben Klemann, and Camila Reyman. Curated by Anja Franke. 8 September – 30 September, 2017.

Download SixtyEight Art Institute’s exhibition brochure, here

The exhibition SOIL is based on the exploration of soil as an artistic research material. Through a materialistic ground study, mainly from soil taken from my home in Herlev, Denmark. Here, five artists were invited to experiment with this area’s subsoil and other earthly materials. Not only to connect with the different states, agents, organisms, but as well to nuance knowledge and cultural constructions of soil itself.  I wrote this quote thinking of a lot of sources in my research:

Soil, time, as humans, we meet time and get the time of the earth.
Plants create the real time of the Soil.

With this poetic reading in mind, the exhibition aimed to dynamically and practically explore soil with the purpose of creating new understandings of the state of the Earth and our human relation to it. Where Earth as material, encompasses a wide range of meanings ranging from a set of abstract ideas to its use and meaning, such as its ownership or tracing into territories or as a vital phenomenon and resource. Where I was thinking mainly about the soil’s real perishability and organic processes for the future of food production. Asking how this entails also the survival of soil. Not forgetting that the use of soil for religious or occult rituals is a reenactment of our mortality with the very ground itself.

Moreover, soil has also become a key element of our resource system, where we extract fossil fuels, minerals and natural gas, and push the bio-capacity or nature’s own capacity to sustain human life to extremes. In this sense, Soil is treated as a kind of basic form for both systems of nature and culture and our exhibition investigates what occurs across these functions and structures.

Therefore, the exhibition invited the artists to research and conduct aesthetic experiments on land taken directly from InstantHerlev institute’s own exhibition site. Mainly on the basis of a non-site exhibition principle as so generously theorized by Robert Smithson. Which in short means creating art from the land, dug up from the private sub-floor of a suburb in Denmark, and exhibiting its research outcomes into an art space in central Copenhagen.


Ingrid Book and Carina Hedén, “Is there soil here… Yes, there’s soil” Video, documenting the creative process of the exhibition. Produced by InstantHerlev institute, 2017.
Ingrid Book and Carina Hedén, Still from video documenting the process at InstantHerlev institute, 2017.
Camilla Reyman, Q_u_i_l_t_ _f_o_r_ _t_h_e_ _c_h_i_l_d_r_e_n_ _o_f_ _c_o_m_p_o_s_t_’ Pigment, soil, fabric, clay and treadwood, 2017.
Esben Klemann, Installeret Jord. Soil clay, net installed as a vertical soil wall, 2017.
Esben Klemann, detail, 2017.
Ingrid Book and Carina Hedén, clay tractor and book installation, 2017.
Ingrid Book and Carina Hedén, Modelled John Deere tractor. Soil clay, mile burnt, 2017.
Anja Franke, The Space between Plates, installation, 2017.
InstantHerlev institute, fire pit were clay artworks were burned, 2017.
InstantHerlev institute, Anja Franke with fire pit were clay artworks were burned, 2017.