History History

exhibition growing out of the workshop Our collective memory, right here, right now, Funen Art Academy, Odense, Denmark (6 days of lectures, workshop, individual meetings, group critiques + 5 weeks independent studio work, exhibition) 2014 

In conjunction with the 70th anniversary of Funen Art Academy artist Åsa Elzén organized the workshop Our collective memory – right here, right now with assistance from art historian Karen Mette Fog Pedersen. Students Jona Borrut, Katharina Fulgsang, Bertil Osorio and Oscar Erik Yran participated in the workshop that took place this fall.

Archival material related to the history of the academy, such as photographs, educational material, art works, news clippings, student lists etc was gathered a month prior to the workshop and placed on large tables. One afternoon was spent touring the buildings that housed the academy in the past accompanied by former students sharing their memories, and a serious ghost hunt was undertaken one night at Brandts Klædefabrik.

Alternative history writing, archival desires, the use of fiction, history forgery, anachronisms, refusal of chronology, identification with people from other temporalities, biography, taxonomy, the politics of history writing were notions investigated through discussions, texts and art works.

From these starting points the students began their own research and developed individual and collective projects stemming from the question how artists can work differently with temporality compared to proper historians. History History is an exhibition of those projects. Simultaneously, it is an attempt to present the workshop in itself, not as source material juxtaposed to art works, but to blur preconceived distinctions between the two and point to the fictitious and arbitrary inherent in all history writing.

Åsa Elzén





Oscar Yran has collected photographs relating to the Funen Art Academy and Brandts Klædefabrik, for example from student trips, exhibition openings, people working in the factory, special events, from then and now, from here and there. The photographs are sorted according to the number of people visible in them, from 1 to 284. This makes way for new comparisons, serendipitous meetings and a chaotic view into the past.

The works by Jona Borrut investigate and play with the idea of undefined notions embedded in the overlooked or unattainable parts of a conventional system of classification.

Through painting, text, photography and sound, Bertil Osorio investigates the various emotional links between himself and a former student. Due to personal issues, Elin went missing at a point in history, but the ambience at a certain spot in the stair case at the far end of the sculpture hall, becomes a catalyst for common loneliness and longing across time and factual events.

Katharina Fulgsang has made a short film about a face she came across in the archive. She is using the face as a primary source for finding out more about the character behind the face/creating a character from the face. To investigate this she has asked random people to tell her their immediate thoughts about who this person might be, but she also asked a professional face analyst/truth spotter to interpret the face’s wrinkles, muscles and skin. It all ends with Katharina finding a younger version of the face in the archive… and playing a song.

FAA Project Room, Funen Art Academy, Odense

December 4-7, 2014, Opening hours: Thursday 17.00-20.00, Friday-Sunday 10.00-17.00