Lea Guldditte Hestelund at Overgaden

Artist: Lea Guldditte Hestelund

Exhibition title: Consumed Future Spewed Up as Present

Venue: Overgaden, Copenhagen, Denmark

Date: April 7 – May 27, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Overgaden

Note: Exhibition booklet can be found here

With a new total installation, Danish artist Lea Guldditte Hestelund explores and develops the possibilities and limitations of the sculpture as well as the body, in a near-future narrative.

In her artistic work, Lea Guldditte Hestelund is fascinated by the history, narratives and potentials of materials, and how these can be released and processed – whether by cutting into marble, or by shaping and transforming her own body.

In her biggest solo presentation so far in a Danish art institution, Lea Guldditte Hestelund takes several of her characteristic techniques to a new level in a radical installation that possesses the character of a physical science fiction story. Here, the relationship between different types of presence and body – both human and non-human – is addressed.

The exhibition takes the form of a spatial sequence in three sections, which call forth different ambiences using architecture, light and other sensory means. The first room has the character of an entry hall, or perhaps rather a waiting room or cloakroom. On a stand and in backlit wall niches, a series of leather straps – Carriers – are presented, evoking connotations of fetishism and fashion accessories. The next room is a pyramidal transition passage which leads to the innermost room of the exhibition. In contrast to the bright waiting area, this inner space is darker, and seems to belong to the sculptural bodies. In the room are a number of marble sculptures, some of which hang down from the ceiling like pupa-like foreign bodies, while others appear in various pairs and groupings on the floor. Some are wrapped in Carriers, others stand or lie on skins and fur – some appear fleshy and bodily, while others are slippery and cold.

With Consumed Future Spewed Up as Present, Lea Goldditte Hestelund gives the public an opportunity to relate to bodies in many different forms and positions – bodies that may seem strange to us. Through the spatial staging, the artist enters the viewer’s own body, thereby adding an additional layer of experience to the exhibition’s theme. At the opening reception, there will be a performative presentation of the exhibited Carriers.

Lea Guldditte Hestelund has also invited the writer Olga Ravn to write a piece of fiction based on the exhibition’s universe and sculptures. The book has become a work of future fiction, and forms an independent work in the installation. The text offers a literary parallel narrative to the works and reflects, inter alia, on the difference between a human being and a thing. The text collection will be published by Gyldendal in late May as a novel with the title De ansatte (The Employees).

Lea Guldditte Hestelund (b. 1983) is a graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (2015) and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2012-13). She has exhibited at, inter alia, Gether Contemporary, Værelset and Fifth Floor in Copenhagen, and internationally at Treignac Projet (FR), and she has participated in a wealth of group exhibitions in Denmark and abroad, including at ARoS, Kunsthal Aarhus, SMK FRIDAYS, Ystad Art Museum (SE), Künstlerhaus Dortmund (DE), Parallel Vienna (AT) and CompleteBody, NYC (USA).