Film Programme Silences and Stories

Julie Edel Hardenberg, My First Coin, film still, 2022. Courtesy the artist

Shown alongside Pia Arke: Silences and Stories, is an accompanying film programme which examines environmental issues and colonial legacy within present-day Greenland.

Featuring projects such as Kuannersuit; Kvanefjeld, by artists Lise Autogena & Joshua Portway, and film works by contemporary artists working in various contexts across Greenland and Denmark today, including Julie Edel Hardenberg, Inuk Silis Høegh & Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen and Arnajaraq Støvlbaek.

16 January – 11 May 2024

Lise Autogena & Joshua Portway
Kuannersuit; Kvanefjeld, 2016
(duration 29 mins)
Kuannersuit; Kvanefjeld portrays the dilemmas facing the small community of Narsaq in Southern Greenland. Narsaq is located next to the pristine Kvanefjeld, and surrounded by a UNESCO protected landscape. Kvanefjeld contains some of the world’s richest rare earth mineral resources deposits and is one of the largest sources of uranium. For generations the Kvanefjeld region has been Greenland’s agricultural centre. This way of life is threatened if Greenland approves proposals for a foreign owned open pit mine, which could become the fifth-largest uranium mine and second-biggest rare earth extraction operation in the world. The film portrays a community divided, reflecting the difficult decisions and trade-offs faced by a culture seeking to escape a colonial past and define its own identity in a globalised world.

Lise Autogena (b.1964, Denmark) and Joshua Portway (b. 1967, UK) have worked together since the early 1990s. Previous projects have included Black Shoals; Dark Matter – Stock Market Planetarium 2000-2016, and Most Blue Skies 2003-9. In 2013 they developed Foghorn Requiem, a requiem for disappearing sound performed in the North Sea.  Lise Autogena established Narsaq International Research Station (NIRS) which hosts scientific and cultural research projects in South Greenland. NIRS facilitates collaborations with local residents, schools and organisations to ensure that new knowledge developed in the region is shared and made accessible to the local community.

Mezzanine Gallery
10 February – 11 May 2024

Julie Edel Hardenberg
My First Coin, 2022
(duration 12 mins)
Filmed in Hardenberg’s home city of Nuuk, My First Coin is a reflection on colonialism. Voiced through the words of her younger self, perplexed by a world view that doesn’t made sense, and also as a Greenlandic citizen pointing out the hidden violence that colonial structures inflict on the Kalaallit through discrimination and inequality. Throughout her practice Hardenberg explores the economic and social interdependencies between Denmark and Kalaallit Nunaat/Greenland, and the subsequent impact on Kalaallit, caught in a shared identity between power and powerlessness.

Julie Edel Hardenberg (b. 1971, Kalaallit Nunaat/Greenland) studied in Finland, Norway, UK and Denmark. She is currently based in Copenhagen and holds a research post at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Copenhagen. She is also an Associate Professor at Bergen Art Academy in Norway. Her works are held in numerous collections across Denmark, Greenland, Finland and Switzerland.

Inuk Silis H
øegh & Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen
Why We Fight, 2004
(duration 5 mins)
plus documentation of Melting Barricades performance in Nuuk, Greenland, 2004
(duration 2 mins)
These two films show elements (shown alongside their wall-based work, Map of Denmark, 2004) from the wider Melting Barricades project devised by Inuk Silis Høegh & Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen. Carried out between May – September 2004 in both Nuuk and Copenhagen, the project was made in connection to the 25th Anniversary of Greenlandic Home Rule. Under the fictional guise of establishing a Greenlandic Army, the project raised questions about which values Greenland should protect, and which to contribute to a globalised world. The project questioned the tendency towards self-focused nationalism and instead advocated for a more outward looking approach. In 2022, Melting Barricades was shown as part of New Red Order Presents: One if by Land, Two if by Sea at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen.

Inuk Silis Høegh (b. 1972, Kalaallit Nunaat/Greenland) is an artist and film maker who studied in both Denmark and the UK. His works have been shown in Greenland, Denmark, France, Iceland, Finland, Latvia and Germany. His short films and documentaries have been shown on TV and at festivals worldwide. His film Sume – The Sound of a Revolution (2014) won the Jane Glassgo Award for an Emerging Filmmaker, and the Cynthis Lickers-Sage Award for Emerging Talent. It was also awarded Best Danish Documentary by in 2014.

Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen (b. 1977, Denmark) studied in Denmark, Germany and Japan, and between 2007-2015 was based in Berlin. In recent years he has focused on painting, publishing and depicting modernist architecture, highlighting its utopian properties as well as its monumental failures. In 2018 he famously semi-submerged a scale model of one of Le Corbusier’s most famous buildings in the Vejle Fjord in Denmark, as a statement about the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election. He has exhibited and published extensively in Denmark, Germany and throughout Europe. His work is held in collections in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, UK, Switzerland, France, USA and South Korea.

Arnajaraq St
Sapanngat, 2023
(duration 2:47 mins)
Sapanngat (translated as ‘beads’) is a comment and reflection on the status, significance and history of beads as part of Kalaallit culture in which bead work has been valued for thousands of years. Originally made from bone, antlers or tusks, they became overshadowed by the coloured glass or clay beads introduced by European whale hunters, which subsequently became a symbol of wealth. Støvlbaek’s film quietly, but powerfully, uses the analogy of beads to depict the fragility of tradition, and how European trade has impacted on Kalaallit long-held values and identity.

Arnajaraq Støvlbaek (b. 1976, Kalaallit Nunaat/Greenland) is an artist, designer, curator and photographer working in Sisimiut, Greenland. She studied in Greenland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway. Her most recent exhibition AANAA – Memories of Smell was shown in Nuuk Art Museum and Sisimiut Museum, Greenland in 2020-21, and she has exhibited extensively across Denmark, Iceland and Norway. She is currently a member of the Board of Regulators for Nordatlantens Brygge, Copenhagen. She has also held key roles within the cultural life of Greenland, including Chair of the National Theatre of Greenland, and Director of Sisimiut Cultural Centre.

Lise Autogena & Joshua Portway, Kuannersuit; Kvanefjeld, film still, 2016. Courtesy the artists
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