Mille Kalsmose Magic Materialism

Martin Asbæk Gallery is proud to present the exhibition Magic Materialism by the Danish visual artist Mille Kalsmose. The exhibition is the artist's first solo exhibition in the gallery and is based on Kalsmose’s distinctive artistic expression, defined by philosopher and writer Ole Fogh Kirkeby as magical materialism. This ism covers an acknowledgement of the materiality of our body and our surroundings, as well as of the invisible, immaterial reality’s importance – especially in the digital age.
Author Patricia Breinholm Bertram
Photography Thomas Andersen

If we only understand ourselves as matter, as bodies in a physical world, we only exist in a given place at a given time. But if, on the other hand, body and being are brought into an actively reflective connection, a magical superstructure is created. In the exhibition, magic materialism becomes a way of connecting spirit and matter as well as a movement towards an expanded, multidimensional, and connected self.

“I can’t see myself” appears repeatedly in the exhibition, a statement, which appeared before Kalsmose during hypnosis. Both physiologically, as Kalsmose was in a changed state of mind, but also philosophically and spiritually. Because if you can’t see yourself, how do you find out who you are? Kalsmose explores this sense of blindness by connecting with her own as well as our collective history. Resulting in the series Universal and Golden Blindness, which consist of paper and concrete works, each bearing a statement printed in Braille.

The concrete blocks appear familiar, as architectural reminiscences from previous empires, and at the same time as blocks of knowledge, outside of time and space. The architectural references are also present in Kalsmose’s central crystal tower, consisting of purple, yellow and green crystal rods in different shades, all connected to an overwhelming structure in brass. Kalsmose describes the tower as an image of the connected self. The work represents the crystals’ ability to connect organisms or individuals, as described in, among other things, quantum physics. The artist is particularly concerned with their properties in relation to moving energy between particles, and from this perspective the work explores an activation of our potential and how we can reach beyond ourselves by going into ourselves.

Magic Materialism is fundamentally about seeing; seeing ourselves, seeing the world as well as seeing behind the reality that consists only of matter, and through our inner vision catch sight of the invisible reality, where I am part of we, and we are part of the co-thinking body of the world. The exhibition also presents works from Mille Kalsmose’s recognized series Collected Memory, which is an on-going network of sculptural installations that houses an archive as well as a database of the participants’ ideas and hopes. Collected Memory is an archive of humanity’s shared visions, a world diary, our collective history.

Mille Kalsmose (b. 1972) is a Danish visual artist. Kalsmose graduated from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and studied at the Bio Art Lab, School of Visual Arts, in New York. Kalsmose’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, most recently at the 59th Venice Biennale and Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg. Kalsmose’s work is represented in several private and public collections, including Horsens Art Museum, Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, MANA Contemporary in the States, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chile.

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