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Root in the North

12 September - 11 December 2020

Nothing has changed and yet. The artists behind Root in the North show geographical vision, curiosity and generosity and together with the Art Centre Silkeborg Bad invite equally Nordic alive and kicking colleagues into a joint study whose physical form is made up of an exhibition and a book published in connection with the exhibition.

There was actually a before. Almost eleven years ago, the Danish artist colleagues looked back in time and retracted the art of long-deceased artists. These had in one way or another been an indispensable inspiration in depiction and relation to nature. Root in Nature the former study was called.

More and more artists are conducting artistic studies of the relationship between nature and man. With the current study, the lens is more precisely - and with a Nordic look – aimed at the border zone between culture and nature. The artists have a special interest in this terrain vague, which is neither one nor the other.

Today, with a not very flattering word, certain geographical locations are designated as peripheral areas. It can be on a large scale as a whole region or maybe just in the abandoned small pockets of the local community, where man's work was once evident and has since been abandoned with a form of wasteland as a result. Which then again calls for new definitions. The artists have noted a common root in and interest in Nordic melancholy, for different ambivalences in the encounter between nature and culture.

Several of them are also concerned with man's more mysterious identity - summed up in the Freudian term 'das Unheimliche'. Sigmund Freud published an analysis under that heading in which he among other things, wrote about the author E.T.A. Hoffmann's works, which were characterized by a dualistic mindset in which the often grotesque forms of appearance constitute a surface and the unconscious an equally important reality beneath.

A perspective also emerges which, among other things, is about roots and longing. The longing to get out, away and to an unknown - but alluring - other. And conversely again, they are also familiar with the longing for the homelike - as place, culture or both. With their works, the artists convey different reflections on these circumstances. And with their works they create new images, stories and meanings.