Serving Makes Place


04.12.– 25.12.2016
Gallery Maebashi Works, Maebashi, Gunma, Japanese
Opening 03/12/2016 6 p.m.

Johna Hansen (SE/DK) and Laura Põld (EE) are opening their duo exhibition titled “Serving Makes Place” in gallery Maebashi Works on December the 3rd.. A unique serving will be performed opening night after which the remnants of the performance; the wooden structures, ceramic vessels, paintings and other objects, will be left as a vestiges of the intimate community created between the artists and the audience inside the gallery space.

The artists collaborate to propose questions about what can be created through the act of serving strangers and how space and community structure can be altered through cycle of movements. The artists also include site-specific and fundamental everyday problems they might experience to their work. In this case, the enduring chill of drafty traditional houses in Japan and Hansen’s life on a boat in Copenhagen pushed her to seek alternative sources of warmth, similar to using Japanese ‘kotatsu’. In Hansen’s and Põld’s new performative installation the artists will create an intimate space, while using materials such as wood to build an architectural structures, found objects picked up in Japan and Denmark to build situations for local heating, and the ceramic vessels made by Laura Põld during a recent residency at the Shiro Oni Studio in Gunma, Japan, as well as her paintings and collages.

The performance is rooted in participation and building community through interaction with the audience. The fear of misunderstanding the norm and making mistakes in a foreign culture is an underlying trigger motivating both Hansen’s and Pold’s work – placing chopsticks incorrectly, putting your shoes in the wrong place. The artists invite you cast aside any discomfort with the unknown, and join them to bring this piece to fruition.

Johna Hansen and Laura Põld started combining their practices in performative installations during residency at AIRY in Yamanashi early 2015. They have since then exhibited together in Tallinn Art Hall gallery in Estonia and on a boat called Tripitaka in Copenhagen, Denmark (both in 2016).

Laura Põld (b. 1984 in Tallinn) is an Estonian artist, who lives in Tallinn and Vienna. Laura received her MA from the Department of Painting at the University of Tartu and previously studied ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Põld is known for her staged landscapes and installations that are sensitive to space and medium and are based on poetical crossing of distant places and cultures. She has shown in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Denmark, Japan and elsewhere. Her latest solo exhibitions include “Hundreds Illusions Charted as Land” in Tartu Art Museum in Estonia that was accompanied by an extensive catalogue, Road to Silver Mine at the Chemin du Bonheur Gallery in Japan and a walk, a wall, some mountains (with Titania Seidl) at Galerie Ulrike Hrobsky’s Showroom in Vienna. She is the laureate of Köler Prize 2016.

Johna Hansen (b. 1982 in Linkoping, Sweden) is a Swedish artist living and working in Copenhagen. With a master from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, she works in the grey zone between architecture and art. A key aspect of her work is the social and spatial matters of architecture with a methodical focus on her own body as a starting point of investigation. Johna Hansen has shown both in Denmark and internationally, most recently in Estonia at Tallinn Art Hall Gallery, and has participated in several artist in residencies the past three years, among others Taliesin West/Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Arizona, in 2016 and AIRY, Yamanashi in 2015. She has received several grants and been supported by the Danish Art Council.

Special Thanks: Simone Bodmer-Turner, Shiro Oni Studio, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, The Estonian Artists’ Association, and Dreyer’s Fond.