ARKEN explores the future with the Australian artist Patricia Piccinini. Under the title Patricia Piccinini - A World of Love, the art museum invites the public to a spectacular and thought-provoking exhibition about the life-forms and collectivities of the future which will be Piccinini's first solo show in the Nordic countries.
With her hyperrealist sculptures Patricia Piccinini (b. 1965) has aroused attention and enthusiasm all over the world. Her large-scale, sensual installations are played out amidst cross-currents of science fiction, natural science and feminism. The Australian artist's universe teems with magical, fabulous animals, humanized machines and mutated humans given life by new technologies. With silicone, fibreglass, nylon, plastic and human hair Piccinini creates lifelike futuristic narratives that raise highly relevant issues of existence, climate and technology.
A realistic, centaur-like creature with fur down its back and long, sharp claws has crept into a little girl's bed. On the face of it the scenario is frightening, but nevertheless has a special magic. Looks and smiles exchanged by creature and child express mutual joy and tenderness. The work bears the title The Welcome Guest (2011) and shows the contrasts in Piccinini's art, where the playful and the imaginative meet the bizarre and the horrific. With her hybrid creatures Piccinini challenges boundaries among humans, animals and plants. The advent of new technologies and the imprint of mankind on the planet form the background for Piccinini's art, but the space of the emotions and notions of the possible life-forms of the future remain quite central to her universe.
At the heart of Patricia Piccinini's practice lie themes such as caring, empathy and reproduction in a new biological borderland. In sensual, complex works Piccinini investigates how we live and forge relations in an era when the natural and the artificial connect in new ways. Her works deal with quite fundamental biological and existential issues of being and belonging. With artistic expression that balances on a razor's edge between the disturbing and the sensitive, Piccinini draws the visitor into a fascinating world full of loving relations among the species.
The special exhibition at ARKEN is Patricia Piccinini's first solo show in the Nordic countries, and will thus be the first opportunity for a Nordic public to experience Piccinini's thought-provoking chimaeric universe. Patricia Piccinini - A World of Love has been mounted in close collaboration with the Australian artist and unfolds the whole range of Piccinini's art with total installations, films and sculptures. The exhibited works include the signature work The Struggle from 2017, which thanks to support from the Ny Carlsberg Foundation is now part of ARKEN's collection. Patricia Piccinini - A World of Love can be experienced at ARKEN from 9 February until 8 September 2019.