May 2014 – March 2015
qwatz contemporary art platform organizes the residency programme of the artist Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen in Pizzo Calabro.
With the aim of producing a large scale installation entitled ‘End of Dreams’, the residency will continue his “Ode to the Perished” project of 2011, which was commissioned for the third Thessaloniki Biennale. Here the artist created an installation in memory of the countless migrants who have lost their lives in their attempt at getting to Europe. Larsen has chosen to work in Calabria because he is interested in examining the social and geographical identity of Italy in terms of immigration. Italy is currently one of the busiest entry points for migrants and Calabria was one of the first regions in Italy to experience coastal landings. This, coupled with the rich history and archaeology of the region, gives the artist an opportunity to reflect attentively on the historical stratification of travel and cultural exchange.
Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen’s works explore the intimate lives of people involved in politically and emotionally complex situations of social coexistence. He expresses his art through video, installations, drawings and sculpture. Some of his most interesting works look at migrant workers in the U.A.E. and their families in India; at second-generation immigrants in the suburbs of Paris, at illegal immigrants in Calais. A particular feature of his film work is its ability to connect with the protagonists on a personal level. This enables him to convey the notion of migration from the perspective of the migrants.
The residency is sponsored by the DANISH ARTS COUNCIL, with the contribution of FONDAZIONE SANTO LICO, by the Residence PIETRE BIANCHE in Pizzo, by the MARINA CARMELO company in Vibo Valentia, the CALLIPO Progetto Casa company and the ACCADEMIA DI BELLE ARTI DI FIDIA. It is also patronised by Danish Embassy in Rome.
On 21 May at 11 a.m. a press conference is held at the CHAMBER OF COMMERCE of Vibo Valentia, during which the artist presents his work and the results of his ongoing project.
On 22 May, a lecture is given at the ACCADEMIA DI BELLE ARTI in Catanzaro examining the work of Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen and presenting it to the students and general public, promoting dialogue between international artists and the local community.
Ehab Halabi Abo Kher, ex-student at the ACCADEMIA DI BELLE ARTI in Catanzaro and artist, collaborates with the project as Nikolaj’s assistant, as Giuseppe Politi, cameramen assistant.
Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen was born in Aalborg, Denmark, in 1971. Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen has a BA (Hons.) in Sculpture from Chelsea College of Art in London and an MA in Fine Art Media from the Slade School of Fine Art in London.
Solo exhibitions include: “End of Season”, SALT, Istanbul, Turkey (2014) / “Promised Land”, Dilston Grove, London (2013) / “343 Perspectives”, Peckham Space, London (2012) / “From the Edge”, Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA), Scotland (2012) / “Promised Land”, Galerie Vanessa Quang, Paris (2012) / “Contes de la peripherie”, Maison du Danemark, Paris (2010) / “Rising Floating Falling”, Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg, Denmark (2004).
Group exhibitions include: “Word. Sound. Power.”, Tate Modern, UK (2013) / “Estuary”, Museum of London, UK (2013) / “Freedom”, Kunstpalais, Erlangen, Germany (2013) / “In Spite of it All”, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE (2012) / “Together”, Trondheim Museum of Modern Art, Norway (2012) / “Thessaloniki Biennale 3”, Greece (2011) / “Changing Stakes”, Mercer Union Gallery, Toronto, Canada (2011) / “Folkestone Triennial”, UK (2011) / “Sharjah Biennial 9”, UAE (2009) / “Distant Relations”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark (2007) / “About Time”, Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg, Denmark (2007) / “Une vision du monde”, La Maison Rouge, Paris (2006) / “Sharjah Biennial 6”, UAE (2003).
Residencies include: qwatz contemporary art platform, Pizzo Calabro, Italy (2014); PiST///, Istanbul (2012); Santa Fe Art Institute, USA (2009); Al-Ma’mal Foundation, Jerusalem (2006); Sharjah Biennial 7, UAE (2005). He is based in Paris and London.
Image: Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, ‘End of Dreams’, drawing, 2015.