Foreningen for professionelle kunstnere og kunsthåndværkere
"Epidemics" * 2014

ProKK – The Association of Professional Artists and Craftsmen

August 2014 Aarhus Kunsthal

47 artists - 6 collective works.

Under the auspices of the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017, ProKK presents the exhibition Epidemics, the first in a series of four large exhibitions leading up to 2017.
This exhibition is about epidemics:
Many phenomena have contagious behavior. This applies not only to viruses and bacteria, but also cultural and social systems can be contagious, sometimes to an extent that it becomes an epidemic.
These phenomena are always about communication. In order to become an epidemic, there must be a contagion and a source of contagion. If you become infected, or allow yourself to be infected, you will then become a source of infection that can spread out into the world. Therein lies major forces, and opportunities.
Prokk has been inspired by Epicenter at Aarhus University, a humanities research project that examines infection and epidemics from a social and cultural perspective.
In collaboration with the Epicenter anthropologists, we have been involved in presentations and coaching along the way, which has been a great inspiration to the artists as well as the anthropologists..
It has been a basic premise that the participants should work in networking groups. Partly to test the infectivity of ideas, to develop an awareness of epidemics, to work towards a collective work, but also because it is a way of making art that ProKK wants to deeply and thoroughly explore, with special requirements placed on the individual artist.
Due to the subject matter, working on the exhibition has been a very special process. It is a subject that should not be processed as a theme, illuminated from many sides, but as a subject that is action-oriented: something that does something! We have chosen to make the creation process part of an experiment, by having participants work in a structural way that mimics the contagious.
Initially, all artists were affiliated with one of the five sub-themed groups that they either chose or allowed themselves to be contaminated by:
Rygter (Rumors)
Kroppen som Slagmark (The Body as a Battlefield)
Massebevægelser (Massive Group Movements)
Røde Hunde (Rubella)
Frygt (Fear)

These topics were guidelines, with the ability to diverge into new directions along the way.
After presentations by the Curator Tove Nyholm and researchers from Epicenter, from the beginning of the year, each group began a long series of meetings, correspondence and important experimental workshops. When the conversations became too theoretical, the artists took various materials in their hands and continued the conversations that way.
Working in large groups has been a challenge that has required great inclusiveness and cooperation. Initially, approximately 90 ProKK members signed up, and although there has been a drop off along the way, the artists who have left the groups, due to disagreements or lack of time, have helped to shape the process and thus the final works.
One of the groups chose to divide into two, because the participants were too far apart, but that division gave renewed energy to both groups.
Another group discovered that each of them had moved so far into a compromise that none of them had an anchor in the work that was taking shape! Becoming aware of this problem gave the group new inspiration and a new way to proceed.
The many talks and workshops increased awareness of the artists's own methods and attitudes and helped them open up for others. This forced the participants to better express themselves about their work, and has supplied opportunities to test new materials and other forms.
The end result is six major works, of which five are purely collective works, while the sixth is based on a combination of individual and joint works in synergy around the group's topic.
ProKK is proud to invite you to this exhibition, which has opened new paths both artistically and in terms of new artistic and business partners, something we look forward to building upon in the coming exhibitions.

Epidemics is supported by: Municipality of Aarhus, and European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017

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