Hypnic Jerk is Simon Dybbroe Møller's (b. 1976, Denmark) first institutional solo presentation in Denmark in more than a decade. The exhibition at Kunsthal Aarhus presents new video works and objects with references to Dybbroe Møller's upbringing in Aarhus. The works are all new commissions and specifically produced for the exhibition at Kunsthal Aarhus.
The exhibition Hypnic Jerk unfolds in galleries 4 and 5 at Kunsthal Aarhus. The term "hypnic jerk" is the English term for the feeling of falling in the moment that you fall asleep and the jerk that marks the transition between wakefulness and sleep.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is the quietly spectacular large video projection Bag of Bones – a digital animation of the famous Grauballe Man – is emblematic of Dybbroe Møller’s process. The artist is interested in how this thing-being has been negotiated throughout recent history. He is interested in the moment when a tabloid newspaper claimed that this Iron Age body was a recently deceased drunk, and how the subsequent carbon dating process, which was intended to refute that claim, was hindered by an improperly sealed laboratory and the abundance of nuclear dust from contemporary Cold War test bombings.
The key to this piece – and to Dybbroe Møller’s practice more generally – lies in the essential sculptural and image-related logics that permeate the work. The remains of the Grauballe Man are quite literally, as the title suggests, a “Bag of Bones”. This bag resembles both an animal hide and the surface texture produced by 3D scanning an object. In that respect, Dybbroe Møller has merely brought an existing history to its logical conclusion: he has 3D scanned and animated the artefact/man/corpse.
The other works in the exhibition are: Watchtowers (2023), Screen Time (2023) and The Bricklayer (2023).
Simon Dybbroe Møller was born in 1976 in Aarhus, Denmark. He studied Fine Arts at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Since 2019, he is Professor at the Sculpture School at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen, where he recently moved after living and working for more than 20 years in Berlin and New York. His work has been subject to solo exhibitions at Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius, 2018), Belvedere 21. KUNSTHALLE São Paulo (São Paulo, 2016), Museum of Contemporary Art (Vienna, 2015), Objectif Exhibitions (Antwerp, 2013), Fondazione Giuliani (Rome, 2011), Kunstverein Hannover (Hannover, 2009), Frankfurter Kunstverein (Frankfurt, 2009 and 2003), among others. His works have been included in large group shows, such as the 9th Berlin Biennial (2016), 5th Moscow Biennial (2013). He has also participated in group exhibitions held in international venues such as, among others, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (St. Gallen, 2020); Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2019); Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2014); MOCAD - Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (Detroit, 2013); CCA Wattis Institute (San Francisco, 2012); MOT Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo, 2011); Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart (Berlin, 2011); Museum Ludwig (Cologne, 2010), MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt a/M, 2011 and 2006) and KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin, 2005). Simon Dybbroe Møller is the founder of the performance program Why Words Now and, together with the artist Nina Beier, he runs the exhibition space AYE-AYE in Copenhagen.
The exhibition is supported by:
Danish Arts Foundation
Axel Muusfeldt Foundation
The Augustinus Foundation
Knud Højgaard Foundation
Overretssagfører L. Zeuthens Mindelegat
Curator: Diana Baldon.
Co-curator: Seolhui Lee.