Sidsel Meineche Hansen
Sidsel Meineche Hansen’s exhibition End-user at Kunsthal Aarhus consists of new and existing works including sculpture, watercolours, ceramic reliefs, laser-woodcut drawings and Virtual Reality installations.
End-user is the first exhibition in Meineche Hansen’s trilogy, PRE-ORDER I-III, that unfolds across three venues: Kunsthal Aarhus, KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin and SMK in Copenhagen. The three exhibitions have separate titles and feature works created specifically for the individual institutions but share the same conceptual framework which is centred on the development of a sex robot as a ‘minimum viable product’ available for pre-order. Pertaining to this object, these exhibitions are about control and ownership.
End-user at Kunsthal Aarhus highlights the context for the sex robot prototype. Meineche Hansen creates a fiction, based on the existing sex and tech industry’s fantasy of sex robots with artificial intelligence - which is on pre-order with commercial developers. ‘Within the tech-industry, the design of a minimum viable product is determined by the end user’s taste, demand and needs. At the same time, an object on pre-order is already someone else’s property’, the artist argues. Pointing to this relational tension, the exhibition raises questions about artistic work as a service and the relationship between artist (as producer), work (as product) and art institution and art market buying power (as end-users).
The exhibition in Kunsthal Aarhus includes three new main commissions: a large-scale sculpture in the form of a fiberglass mould; a series of watercolours and a sound piece installation in a reconstructed room. These works are presented alongside existing works such as the Virtual Reality installations Second Sex War Zone (2016) and the No Right Way 2 Cum (2015), which were first presented at Gasworks Gallery, London, together with the composite drawing Methylene Blue Diluted by Female Ejaculate (2015) and the ceramic face-imprint Cite Werkflow (2016). Combining new and exhibiting works, this exhibition is a continuation of the artist’s research into the industrial complex that connects virtual and robotic bodies to human labour. Robot (from Robota) means ‘forced labour’. Continued processes of colonisation and material forms of sexism are therefore present in the production of the sex robot, as a prototype and artwork.
The exhibition series PRE-ORDER I-III by Sidsel Meineche Hansen is co-produced by Kunsthal Aarhus, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin and SMK (National Gallery of Denmark), Copenhagen.
Danish Artist Sidsel Meineche Hansen is educated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 2007, she has studied at Städelschule in Frankfurt and received an MA in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is a Professor at Funen Art Academy in Odense. Meineche Hansen works with materials such as woodcut, sculpture and computer-generated images and virtual reality animation, and focusses on the complexity of the body in industries such as the pharmaceutics, pornography and technology. Meineche Hansen has taught at, amongst others, CalArts in Los Angeles and Goldsmiths University of London. She also helped to create the artist collective Model Court in London.
Exhibition period: 6 July – 23 September 2018
Opening: 6 July, 5pm
Supported by Statens Kunstfond, Bikubenfonden, Aarhus Kommune.
Image: Sidsel Meineche Hansen, End-user, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Rodeo, London