curated by John Hodany
Lucio Auri | George Barber | Birte Bosse | Maria Bajt | Kuno Ebert | Sven-Ole Frahm | John Hodany | Jennifer Jordan
The nationalmuseum is pleased to present The Gods Threw the Dogs a Bone, a group show curated by John Hodany.
This exhibition dives into two of the most ancient forms that humans have created – the mask and the water vessel. For as long as humans have been around, both can be found in almost all cultures across the globe. Alongside the most essential tools for survival (clothing, hunting and gathering tools), masks and water vessels have been nearly constant throughout human history. All artists at some point seem to almost naturally come to these forms. It is hard to not have engaged or been influenced by them. They are everywhere. Children are drawn to them. They both are at the core of human expression.
This group exhibition is comprised of eight local and international artists who were asked to make two sculptural works – a mask and a water vessel. Beyond those two simple words of description, the artists were left to their own devices. The artists were chosen because of their diversity. Represented in the show is a large range of materials and styles, ranging from colorful to minimal, from conceptual and hard edged to loose and expressive, from experimental, kinetic and funny to spiritual and contemplative. Materially, there are examples that draw from the more ancient forms of fired ceramics, wood and paper to the more contemporary metal, paint, textiles, plastics, synthetics and motors, among others.
The title of the show, The Gods Threw the Dogs a Bone, suggests a sense of hope. As we have all experienced this year, life has not been easy. To keep focused, happy and healthy, we have all needed a break- or two. Most of us, myself included, have had to look inward and figure out what is important. These feelings coincide with the title of the show. What is essential for life?… certainly, we can start at its base: water, spirit. As the curator, I have put my trust in the artists as the work has been made for the exhibition and not chosen by me. Some of the artists have been in dialogue with each other and the concept for the exhibition is left open for their own interpretation. With a gallery space full of wall reliefs and free standing sculpture, I’m excited to see how these works will harmonize and/or juxtapose. I envision a playful garden experiment of sorts.
Text by John Hodany