In 1986–91 the artist group Solkorset (meaning The Solar Cross) created a range of vast, spectacular installations that addressed themes such as consumer society and humanity’s relationship with technology, tackling these issues from an aesthetic point of view.
The group comprised five artists: Kim Grønborg, Robin Lybecher, Marianne Jørgensen, Jesper Rasmussen and Hans E. Madsen, who replaced Birgit Luxhøj after the first two exhibitions. Solkorset experimented with radical, unusual methods and rules of conduct in their working processes, where all five artists worked together creating each work. Solkorset applied a range of dogma-like rules, for example that they would work in a site-specific manner where the exhibition space was an integral part of the work of art, and that all works would be destroyed as soon as the exhibition had ended.
Now, Solkorset reunites at Kunsthal Aarhus – the place where the group exhibited together for the first time as a collective in 1986. After 25 years apart, the group will show if it can re-establish its boundary-breaking collaborative approach while reinterpreting their distinctive working method from back then:
“For this exhibition, the group has produced a video called Opløsningstid (Age of Dissolution). The work considers the time that has passed since the group itself was dissolved in 1992. During that period the world has undergone extensive changes, not least within the field of information technology with the introduction of the Internet and social media. The Danish title, Opløsningstid, is a rewrite of and pun on the Danish word for the Age of Enlightenment (Oplysningstid), adding additional echoes to the concept of the Age of Dissolution. Whereas the eighteenth-century Enlightenment movement critiqued established authority in the form of Church and King through the use of rationalism and science, our present-day Age of Dissolution is engaged in a similar break away from several of our contemporary authorities, for example journalistic media and evidence-based science, this time by spreading fake news and alternative facts. Rationalism has been replaced by emotions and conspiracy theories. An absence of historical awareness is spreading, as is xenophobia. And the Internet is a key factor in this process. The Age of Dissolution is a transition, a process of change where uncertainty reigns. Nothing is what it claims to be, all traditional values are up for negotiation. But protests will lead nowhere in themselves; positive values are necessary to foster progress. In the Age of Dissolution art, too, is not always what it claims to be, but it does not hide that fact, and it always points towards a positive way out as an inherent aspect of its own manifestation.”
– Solkorset, 2017
In the exhibition Opløsningstid: En video af Solkorset (Age of Dissolution: A Video by Solkorset) the audience will be presented to a narrative in six parts, collectively formed by the re-united artist group.
Hans E. Madsen
Exhibition periode: 16 June–13 August
Opening: 16 June, 5pm with opening performance by TS HEØG (aka DANE TS HAWK)
Finissage and Artist talk with Solkorset: 12 August, 2–4pm
The exhibition is supported by: Statens Kunstfond, Aarhus Kommune, C.A.C. Fonden
Image: Marianne Jørgensen