Hito Steyerl at Kunsthal Charlottenborg

February 9th, 2017|

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Artist: Hito Steyerl

Exhibition title: Factory of the Sun

Curated by: Henriette Bretton-Meyer

Venue: Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark

Date: December 8, 2016 – February 19, 2017

Photography: Anders Sune Berg, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist, Kunsthal Charlottenborg and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

In the video installation Factory of the Sun, Hito Steyerl explores contemporary image circulation and technologies. Corporate culture, surveillance, the world economy, globalisation, modern war fare and anti-capitalism movements are amongst the themes connected in a multi-layered story where reality and fiction merge.

Employing different genres of moving images such as video games, documentary film, advertising, news footage, drone surveillance and YouTube dance videos and a compelling soundtrack to support these genres, Factory of the Sun tells a story of young workers whose forced movements in a motion capture studio (normally used for the production of computer animation) are turned into artificial sunshine. The light produced by the workers serves as a metaphor for the light emitted from digital screens and electromagnetic frequencies used to transmit information around the globe.

The story is narrated by Yulia, a video games programmer, and facts and fiction intertwine as the structure of the video game crosses with her actual biography: Yulia’s story of migration begins in the former Soviet Union, where members of her family were persecuted, and extends to a basement in Canada where her brother’s captivating Internet dance videos attracted global popularity through large numbers of clicks and views worldwide. The fans subsequently created anime replicas of the dancer; in Factory of the Sun these characters have the power to bend light, embodying the potential for collective resistance and rebellion against authoritarian regimes and unbridled growth.

Visitors to Steyerl’s immersive installation are invited to experience the film from sun loungers as the blue, luminous virtual reality-like grid extends the space of the film, further complicating the boundaries between what is imagined and what is real.

Hito Steyerl (b. 1966 in Munich) lives in Berlin. Factory of the Sun was originally made for the 2015 German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale; this presentation marks the Scandinavian premiere of the landmark installation.

Curated by Henriette Bretton-Meyer, the exhibition has been produced in collaboration with Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund and the Danish National School of Performing Arts with generous support from Goethe-Institut Dänemark and the Danish Arts Foundation.

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Installation view from Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photography by Anders Sune Berg

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Installation view from Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photography by Anders Sune Berg

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Installation view from Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photography by Anders Sune Berg

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Installation view from Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photography by Anders Sune Berg

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Installation view from Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photography by Anders Sune Berg

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Installation view from Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photography by Anders Sune Berg

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Installation view from Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photography by Anders Sune Berg

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Installation view from Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Photography by Anders Sune Berg

Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, documentation video by ©Eric Minh Swenson

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Single channel HD video, environment. Image CC 4.0 Hito Steyerl. Image courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Single channel HD video, environment. Image CC 4.0 Hito Steyerl. Image courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

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Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, 2015. Single channel HD video, environment. Image CC 4.0 Hito Steyerl. Image courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York