Artist: Nina Beier
Exhibition title: CAT COW
Curated by: Charlotte Sprogøe
Venue: Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm, Næstved, Denmark
Date: August 14 – September 12, 2021
Photography: Jan Søndergaard / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Croy Nielsen
A performance exhibition commissioned for Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm’s off-site barn. August 14th to September 12th, 2021
Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm is proud to present Nina Beier’s exhibition CAT COW – curated by Charlotte Sprogøe as an independent curatorial part of the exhibition program Soil.Sickness.Society, winner of the Bikuben Foundation’s Exhibition Vision Award 2020.
The opening will take place on Saturday 14th. August 2021 at 12.00-15.00 in Rønnebæksholm
It is a significant monument to the industrialization of the rural, which forms the stage for the internationally renowned artist Nina Beier’s performative exhibition CAT COW, commissioned especially for Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm’s 1200 sqm barn and curated by Charlotte Sprogøe. Nina Beier creates an organic microcosm in the kunsthalle off-site barn, where eggs, soil, milk, feline animals, smoke and performers are included as living sculptural elements on an equal footing with pre-made objects. With this project we wish to present the artist’s performative work on a large scale and as part of a choreographed exhibition installation.
CAT COW unfolds as an organism that lives its own life, which means that visitors can alternately encounter it as a sculptural installation and experience a scale of living presence – from human to molecular. CAT COW is activated during opening hours in changing formations.
This is the first time an artist has been invited to create an exhibition for the barn. The abandoned, architect-designed barn at the former manor house Rønnebæksholm sets the tone for Nina Beier’s exploration of how value is constructed and meaning is created through the elastic motifs and multi-coded objects that move around our world – carrying their own baggage. With its vaulted wooden ceiling, ghostly presence and stamped earth floors, the barn forms a scenic space where the performers are included as living sculptures. Their bodies serve the exhibition as an organism and are thus used as resources on an equal footing with agriculture and animal husbandry. The barn functions for Beier as a kind of massive found object in itself, which here hosts a number of other objects, life forms and processes in a project saturated with references to economics, value formations and state of being in our globalized, capitalist times.
The tension between the living and the dead, the natural and the artificial, the organic and the fossilised goes through CAT COW, which vibrates between one and the other outer position. With vastly different references to the planet’s resources, the artist expands our understanding of how these are manipulated, overproduced, milked, swallowed, polluted, and purified again.
Beier stands not only for an expansion of the sculptural language, but also for an experimental approach that disrupts how art today thinks of an exhibition, and thus how it meets us viewers. She dissolves binary notions between viewer and work and focuses on the complicated relationship that exists between us and the objects around us.
Nina Beier (DK, 1975) has i.a. exhibited at international biennials such as the 13th Biennale de Lyon, 20th Sydney Biennale, Performa 15, Luma Foundation’s Elevation 1049, Riboca2 and the upcoming 34th São Paulo Biennale. Her works have been exhibited at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MCA, Sydney, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Kunsthaus Zürich, the National Gallery, Prague, Maxxi, Rome, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, Center Pompidou, Paris, Musée d ‘Modern Art of the City of Paris, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Tate Modern, London, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlin, Moca, Miami, Hayward Gallery, London. She has had solo exhibitions at: Kunsthal Gent, Spike Island, Bristol, Kunstverein Hamburg; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Objective Exhibitions, Antwerp; Kunsthaus
Glarus, Switzerland; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.
The exhibition is curated by curator and curatorial PhD. fellow Charlotte Sprogøe at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts research department, who researches in location-specific exhibitions and the exhibition as both mental state and aesthetic form. With this project, it is a dark version of ‘the rural’ that is the backdrop and stage for the off-site commission.
Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm and Billedkunstskolernes Forlag publishes a research-based catalog in connection with CAT COW with in-situ pictures of performances and installation. The catalogue presents an essay by curator Charlotte Sprogøe and a text work in note-form by Nina Beier in collaboration with writer Nanna Friis, unfolding the exhibition’s elements in dialogue with the artist’s extensive performative and sculptural practices.
The book is design by the Berlin-based Studio Pyda, has in collaboration with the artist. The Cat Cow catalogue is in Danish and English and will be available for purchase from 5th.
CAT COW partners
Partners on the research and exhibition project: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Laboratory for art research, the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s grants for practice-based curatorial research, University of Copenhagen Department of Art and Culture & Bikuben Foundation’s Vision Prize.
The award-winning exhibition project Soil.Sickness.Society explores unbalances in the relationship between earth, mankind and society. It tackles the relevant topic of how society’s focus on growth puts the earth and the modern human under pressure and creates an unbalanced relationship between health and society.