Esben Weile Kjær is a luminous star on the Danish and international art scene. In the spring of 2023, he will curate ARKEN’s collection of Danish and international contemporary art.
In the exhibition BUTTERFLY!, visitors are invited to explore ARKEN’s works within an immersive setting reminiscent of an abandoned skateboard park or a film set that is no longer in use. All will be welcomed by the venue’s mascot, a two-meter tall cartoon-like butterfly in death metal makeup. Drawing on memories of his childhood and youth, Esben Weile Kjær has created an environment where graffiti, useless skateboard ramps and bus sheds form the backdrop of a selection of more than fifty works by artists such as Micha Klein, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sarah Lucas and Henrik Plenge Jakobsen. Ever since his first visit to ARKEN at the age of 15, Esben Weile Kjær has had a particular fondness for the museum’s collection, and he now takes a nostalgic look back at the ‘90s artists who contributed to shaping his own generation. What became of the optimism, radicalism and notions of freedom that characterized art in the time after the fall of the Berlin wall? In what way is our present-day mediated everyday life a result of that era’s faith in technological developments? These are some of the questions which Esben Weile Kjær invites us to reflect on in his personal staging of the ARKEN collection.
Artists represented in the exhibition
Richard Billingham, Christian Boltanski, Peter Bonde, Anders Brinch, BURN OUT (Jes Brinch & Henrik Plenge Jakobsen), Nancy Burson, Sophie Calle, Claus Carstensen & Superflex, Torben Christensen, Elmgreen & Dragset, Marlene Dumas, Erik A. Frandsen, Mads Gamdrup, Andreas Golder, Douglas Gordon & Jonathan Monk, Damien Hirst, Micha Klein, Peter Land, Jouko Lehtola, Sarah Lucas, Hermann Nitsch, Kirsten Ortwed, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Tal R, Torbjørn Rødland, Erik Steffensen, Hardy Strid, Lene Stæhr, Wolfgang Tillmans, Esben Weile Kjær, Emil Westman Hertz and Yan Lei.
Curated By Esben Weile Kjær