Melancholy

MELANCHOLY – AN ACCIDENTAL EVENT
Skovhuset Værløse, Denmark
Group exhibition
2020

ARTISTS INCLUDE: RIKKE BENBORG, ANDERS BRINCH, MIA-NELLE DRØSCHLER, SIMON GRIMM, JACOB HOFF, GERD LAUGESEN, MICHAEL WÜRTZ OVERBECK, RASMUS ROSENGAARD, LILYBETH SEBALDUS KATHRINE ÆRTEBJERG

In Melancholy – An Accidental Event, ten visual artists have set out to investigate and portray melancholy in 2020. Has melancholy today become an unequivocally negative phenomenon, or does it still hold a significant impetus for creativity, as previously thought?


Melancholy and its introverted focus on the painful aspects of life have been described in medicine, philosophy and psychology since ancient times. It has been called a mood or temper, but melancholy is also on the verge of depression and has been considered a mental imbalance.


The link to despair, but also curiosity and inspiration may be the reason why it is in the art that melancholy has found its most striking expression. Here, the melancholy with its dual nature and slightly privileged form of depression has been seen as a creative act that, after a difficult start, leads to inspired works of art.But has this more romantic view of melancholy been replaced today by the unromantic depression? asks the exhibition, with a reference to the American author, Susan Sontag’s essay “Illness as Metaphor”. And has it become an unwelcome condition to guard against, e.g. through medication, mindfulness or a new partner? In the same way that people in the care sector talk about “unintended incidents” when something differs from normal and which is reported so that the incident in question can be avoided in the future.
The exhibition presents an interesting circle of contemporary artists who, through the works, grasp a current conversation about the melancholy of life and as a liberating force in art and nature. Perhaps particularly relevant in light of the COVID-19 and the severe psychological pressure brought by the pandemic, followed by a hope for a better future where creativity will undoubtedly play an important role.


The exhibition is curated by Jacob Hoff, Lilybeth Sebaldus and Simon Grimm.

Read art review by Mathias Kryger here >

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