20.08. - 17.10.2015

Nils Stærk is proud to present the solo exhibition In and Out and In and Out, Again by American artist Matthew Ronay (b. 1976, Louisville, Kentucky, USA).

In the main space of the gallery a large-scale installation composed of several individual elements is the central feature of the exhibition. On the back wall, Ronay has installed a major composition made up of blue curvilinear shapes resembling a waterfall or a wall of flames. From the bottom of the wall, a carpet painted in an intense hue of azure expands into the room on top of which the other elements of the installation are placed in an orderly row and appear to be headed towards a threshold that disappears into infinite space. These elements are wooden sculptures in various sizes and colors. While one is horizontal, other elements are vertical and emulate the forms of gates, a reference that is not accidental. Every work is meticulously carved and clearly made by hand. Ronay’s work simultaneously refers to parts of the human body, forms found in non-western, ritualistic cultures, and abstraction that is almost non-objective in character. In the second room of the exhibition seven small wooden reliefs are installed as a discreet group. Like the sculptures, the reliefs are characterized by organic forms and highly tactile wooden surfaces.

Ronay’s works are often described as containing elements alluding to mysticism, and spirituality. At the center of these references is the idea of transformation from one state to another, both physical and phenomenological. Ultimately, Ronay’s works function as gateways from one place to another, whether retinal or metaphysical, leaving viewers with associations to things based on their own experience of the world or their owns systems of belief.

Matthew Ronay’s has had solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Lingen, Germany, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, USA, University of Louisville, USA, La Conservera, Murcia, Spain, Artpace – Hudson (Show)Room, San Antonio, USA. His work was shown in the Lyon Biennial in 2013 and has been included ingroup exhibitions in important institutions such as Schrin Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, Norway, Aros, Århus, Denmark, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA and the Withney Biennale in 2004. The current exhibition is Ronay’s fourth solo exhibition with Nils Stærk.

14.11.2015 - 16.01.2016

Nils Stærk presents YOU CAN’T EAT IDENTITY, a solo exhibition by Superflex.

In the main gallery the video installation European Union Mayotte will be shown. The film was shot on the island Anjouan, part of the island country of Comoros, located in the Indian Ocean north of Madagascar. Only 70 kilometres away is the other island Mayotte. Contrary to Anjouan and the rest of the Comoros Mayotte chose to stay affiliated with France when the Comoros became an independent country in 1975. In 2011, Mayotte became a so-called French overseas department, which equalled the island with France’s other departments and regions. In 2014 the EU acknowledged Mayotte as a part of the union making it EU’s outermost region. Therefore there is a dangerous illegal trafficing of people looking to get to Mayotte and thereby France and the EU for various reasons. Many thousands have not survived the few kilometres of travel.

In the film we follow the production of a small fiberglass boat meant for fishing. The boats produced on Anjouan are though often used to sail to Mayotte, a journey which can be dangerous both because of weather conditions and the patrolling coast guard around Mayotte.

Superflex went for the first time to Mayotte in 2014. The French State had commissioned them to produce a work for the local hospital on the isalnd.

In the gallery’s second room 7 paintings are shown. They all bear the same text : YOU CAN’T EAT IDENTITY each based on one of the seven main colors of the Euro notes.

Thematically migration is the main subject of the exhibition. The boat and the horizon also play a part as images of wanderlust and dreams of another life. The exhibition places itself in Superflex’s general practice where the aesthetic product is based upon a very specific socio-economic situation, which at the same time asks some universal questions about dreaming of something else.

Superflex has furthermore made a filmversion about the subject with the title KWASSA KWASSA. It was shown earlier this year as part of Beaufort – Beyond Borders in Belgium. The film is also included in the CPH:DOX 2015 programme and is shortlisted for the competition New:Vision. In 2016 it will be shown at the 6th Marrakech Biennale curated by Reem Fadda and as part of

Cinéma du Réel, International Documentary Film Festival in Paris in March 2016.

Installaton views

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