A porcelain girl surrounded by a crater of soot stares out the window to the busy street, heralding an exhibition with a disturbing character. Mythical creatures, fairy tale characters as well as animals from the real world appear alongside one another as fragments of stories, materialized in either bronze or porcelain.
At first glance, each figure may seem to have a downright cute appearance, but such an impression is momentary and fleeting. Upon closer inspection, a macabre element emerges: wounds, deformities, blood, maggots. The depictions of fundamentally innocent entities, animals or children for instance, all have a suspicious glitch in their charm. An enthralling caprice is ingrained in each of Maria Rubinke’s works. Of course, the sculptures cannot do harm, but in turn can evoke unnerving sentiments.
The exhibition is entitled EVER, which of course is a word used in numerous expressions, each with their own little poetic trait; forever, ever after, never ever, and so on. This tiny word has a remarkably absolute character, regardless of its surrounding parts. The word captures a temporal infiniteness in either direction; until now or after now. It alludes to the concept of eternity, this intangible extent which transcends all else and holds countless existential and spiritual implications. Just like the title’s inconclusiveness, the sculptures appear slightly unsettling, giving off a cunning or even cynical impression. The monumental polar bear and its companions conquer the gallery space – not just in a physical sense, but through their presence alone. Simultaneously charming and grotesque, the beguiling ambiguity of Rubinke’s works strengthen the perplexing effect, in part elevating the notion of an intricate entity, but ultimately leaving the spectator with the responsibility to interpret each work – each fragment of a fiction that doesn’t really exist.
Maria Rubinke was born 1985 in Haarby, Denmark. She is educated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Department of Ceramics in Bornholm, Denmark (2008). Prominent solo exhibitions include Kastrupgårdsamlingen, Bornholms Kunstmuseum and Vejle Kunstmuseum. She has also been a part of exhibitions all over Europe and in North America. Maria Rubinke lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Exhibition duration: May 7 – June 26