This site gathers a select collection of artworks and projects by the Danish artist Anja Franke
InstantHERLEV institute is an exhibition-making organization for artistic research and site-specific projects founded and directed by Anja Franke
InstantHerlev institute, clay fire pit and clay artworks burnt for the SOIL exhibition, 2017.
SOIL curated by Anja Franke at SixtyEight Art 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