Pia Arke, Krabbe 1906/Jensen 1947, 2005. Courtesy private collection. © Pia Arke Estate
Pia Arke: Silences and Stories
Feb 10 – May 11, 2024
John Hansard Gallery
Southampton, UK

In February 2024, John Hansard Gallery, in collaboration with KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, presents the first major survey of Danish-Greenlandic artist Pia Arke (1958–2007) to be shown outside of Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland), and the Nordic countries. Seldom exhibited outside the Scandinavian context, this exhibition of Arke’s work is both timely and long overdue. It will clearly assert Pia Arke as a significant international figure within both artistic practice and post-colonial discourse. Pia Arke: Silences and Stories is curated by Ros Carter, Head of Programme (Senior Curator) at John Hansard Gallery. The partner exhibition, Pia Arke: Arctic Hysteria, will be shown at KW in Summer 2024, curated by Sofie Krogh Christensen, Associate Curator at KW.

Pia Arke made work that strove to make visible the colonial and complex relationship between Denmark and Greenland, and to address significant questions of identity and representation. Born in Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) to a Greenlandic mother and a Danish father, Arke spoke of an identity that sat outside of being defined as either Danish or Greenlandic; a ‘third place’ that allowed for hybridity and resisted polarisation. Tragically, Arke died before she could experience the growing importance and interest in her work, with her now recognised as one of the Nordic region’s most important postcolonial voices. By working closely with the Pia Arke Estate, John Hansard Gallery is mounting a major survey of her work, including photography, film, sculpture, performance, writing, and rare archival material, amassed from a range of key collections, archives and individuals throughout Scandinavia. We will also re-create Arke’s famous life-size camera obscura, which she used to create her seminal pinhole camera photographs. The original has long since disappeared, but some original elements remain, which will be incorporated into the re-creation.

What makes Arke’s work of such current significance is how it resonates so strongly with today’s globally important issues. Colonial histories, nationhood, Indigenous identity and female representation, are all highlighted and interrogated by Arke’s questioning approach (along with present day issues of the impact of climate change and global economics on Indigenous communities within Greenland and throughout the arctic regions.) Arke often referred to the ‘culture of silence’ around colonial relationships, especially the one she was born into. The exhibition’s title refers to how a country’s culture and history is shaped not only by what is said, but also by what remains silent.

The exhibition is being organised in close collaboration with the Pia Arke Estate and works are being loaned from major collections across the Nordic region, including: Louisiana Museum, Kunstmuseum Brandts and Malmö Art Museum, as well as the Estate itself and key individuals linked with Arke.

  • Bastardie
    Jun 7–30, 2024
    Paris, France

    How can speech practices that trouble official languages disrupt the established social order and open up other configurations? Do they have the potential to impact the way we look or act? Its title pays tribute to Alice Becker-ho, a linguist associated with the Situationist International, known for her interest in the lexicons of gypsies and Roma. (more…)

  • George Byrne: Synthetica
    Jun 13 – Jul 14, 2024
    Show Gallery
    Los Angeles, USA

    Show Gallery is pleased to present Synthetica, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based Australian artist George Byrne. References to magical realism, modernism, theosophy, and AI combine to explore the tension between the natural and the artificial. The exhibition challenges preconceptions of reality in an increasingly digital age while paying homage to Byrne’s analog photo roots and influence from the new topographic photographers. (more…)

  • What is Truth?
    Feb 17 – Oct 20, 2024
    Sainsbury Centre
    Norwich, UK

    This year, the Sainsbury Centre is investigating how we can know what is true in the world around us through a series of fascinating, interlinked exhibitions. The dynamic 2024 programme consists of four key, interlinked exhibitions – In Event of Moon Disaster, Liquid Gender, Jeffrey Gibson: no simple word for time and The Camera Never Lies – bringing together some of the world’s leading artists and creative thinkers, plus a new, interlinking publication. (more…)

  • Helen Cammock: I Will Keep My Soul

    Convening polyphonous voices from past and present, I Will Keep My Soul is an orchestral layering of photography, historical documents, poetry and interviews, all rooted in the social history, geography and community of New Orleans. In this prismatic artist’s book, UK-based artist Helen Cammock traverses the city, rendering her observations and encounters into reverberant texts and percipient photographic images that tender the city’s invisible histories. (more…)

Visit our New Announcement Submission page > Announcement Submission page >