Exhibition at ARKEN features Patricia Piccinini's magical and thought-provoking works

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Exhibition at ARKEN features Patricia Piccinini's magical and thought-provoking works
Patricia Piccinini, The Welcome Guest, 2011. Courtesy the artist.



COPENHAGEN.- It’s magical, it’s alluring, it’s disturbing and it’s bizarre – Patricia Piccinini’s (b. 1965) peculiar world offers a truly unique experience. ARKEN’s staged and evocative exhibition unfolds the Australian artist’s practice in all its entirety with video, small and large hyper-realistic sculptures and installations. The exhibition invites the audience on a marvelous journey through a series of vivid scenes where hybrid creatures interact in different everyday situations. In Piccinini’s playful and transcending universe, digital and biotechnological opportunities have shaped new hybrid life forms.

Artificial naturalness
Fact and fiction merge in Piccinini’s art. She draws inspiration from science fiction, folktales and Surrealism in stories that also weave together elements from biology and other sciences. The works thematize climate change and high-tech conditions which in various radical ways are changing our world and our life. Species die out, while new ones come to life with artificial intelligence and genetic manipulation. In Piccinini’s surreal universe fascinating and fearsome links are formed between bizarre creatures and landscapes, that are as organic as they are synthetic. The categories and boundaries between divisions such as organic and technological bodies are blurred.

Bizarre beauty
Piccinini’s fascinating aesthetic makes use of hyperrealistic means, and by bringing hyperrealism into an imaginative dream universe she shakes our expectations of the well-known. Her aesthetics are made of contrasts: the playful and loving meet the odd and alienating. Piccinini challenges cultural norms of body and beauty: Why do we see certain features as beautiful and familiar – and others as unknown, dangerous or confusing? Unlike Hollywood’s dystopian version of science fiction, where strange aliens, monsters or robots pose a dangerous threat to humankind, Piccinini celebrates everything that is ‘different’. Here we find poetry and beauty in the connected, the strange and the diverse. She invites us to meet her creatures with curiousness and openness. Perhaps we can see ourselves in them and their relations?

A Loving Future
Piccinini’s works engage us in questions on how we understand ourselves, how we live and create relations in a highly technological time where the natural and artificial connect in new ways. She invites us to fantasize over the possible connections and communities the future technologies will create across species. Her works involve ethical messages about empathy and care for all the creatures and plants we share this earth with – and for the still unknown beings that will live among us in the future. Her universe offers dreams and hopes of a future full of loving interspecies kinships. Piccinini invites us to imagine the world anew.

A magical and thought-provoking exhibition awaits at ARKEN, open to all ages. The exhibition was created in close collaboration with Patricia Piccinini herself. It is the artist’s first major solo exhibition in the Nordic countries.










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