Among the exhibition’s recurring elements is the goddess figure The Goddess of Oxytocin, which has previously been explored in both Ejlerskov’s digital and video-based works but has in the exhibition found its way back to the hand of the artist through representative painting. This material, the physiological and spiritual starting point, contrasts the title of the exhibition, Goddess Located, which simulates a digital system command. Crypto-art and other digital formats plays a significant role in Ejlerskov’s practice, which, among other things, revolves around the potentials of new technologies in relation to freeing up our time and minds.
With Ejlerskov, the digital and physical spheres are not sharply divided, and after seeing the exhibition, visitors will receive a card with a code for a personal POAP NFT (Proof of Attendance Protocol Non-fungible token). The NFT does not only grant the visitors ownership of their experience, it also connects them digitally – and is an example of how the concept of the NFT is not necessarily connected to an economic market, but can also be a way to store memories and important information.
The exhibition thus not only presents a path to more harmony, it also sheds light on the malleability of reality, exemplified by a hormone that not only brings joy and well-being to the individual, but is also an unavoidable and changeable part of being human and forming bonds with others. Both oxytocin and adrenaline are naturally present in our bodies, and the two hormones represent a harmonious sense of joy and a form of bodily alarm mode, respectively.
Ejlerskov explores the two hormones in her interpretations of the Uffizi Wrestlers. The original marble sculpture, whose reproduction can be seen in Florence, is characterized by its anatomical precision and inherent sense of balance. Herewith, the sculpture does not reveal the winner of the struggle but stands frozen in the height of battle. Ejlerskov’s interpretation depicts two female wrestlers, and through the exhibition’s paintings, the artist focuses on the upper wrestler, the goddess, whose leg is entwined with her opponent, adrenaline.
As with other deities, this goddess can be worshiped, and we can hereby manipulate our bodies hormonally, fight for its advantage over adrenaline. By localizing and mastering this ability within us, Ejlerskov believes that we can heal imbalances, mental as well as physical – which the NFT card serves as reminder of. Partaking in the world and taking responsibility for one’s body and mind are important messages in Ejlerskov’s work, and the theme can be seen as a reaction to the fear and frustration of recent years, brought on by health, socio-political and cultural crises. Crises that will possibly also shape our near future and require new tools and technologies.
Ditte Ejlerskov (b. 1982) is a Danish visual artist who works in both painting and digital art. Ejlerskov studied at the Funen Art Academy, The Cooper Union School of Art in New York and at the Kunsthögskolan in Malmö, from which she graduated in 2009. Ejlerskov has exhibited at several institutions both in Denmark and abroad, including Nikolaj Kunsthal, Malmö Konsthall, Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Arken, Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, Bonn Art Museum and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, and her works are included in several private and public collections.