Dance with the Devil, an exhibition by Anna and Esben Weile Kjær

Pictures by David Stjernholm

It is with great pleasure that Vestjyllands Kunstpavillon invite you to the opening of Dance with the Devil, an exhibition by Anna and Esben Weile Kjær on June 1st from 2-4 pm.

“I challenge any art lover,” George Bataille wrote in 1930, “to love a canvas as much as a fetishist loves a shoe.”

Using a surrealist visual language the exhibition Dance with the Devil processes the seductive images of capitalism. The exhibition is a comprehensive sculptural staging that draws connections between the surrealist movement’s fascination of clothes and commodities and the massive presence of fantasy-aesthetics in popular culture.

More specifically, Dance with the Devil pivots the colorful environments created to give products story and imagined life with the single purpose of enhancing sales. In amusement parks or the marvelous displays of the shopping arcades we are transported away from the mundane reality of everyday life into a world that seems to be about anything but raw capital. This is of course an illusion: Capitalism is a great magician. The secret behind the best illusions is the distraction of the eye. To put it bluntly; fantasy and surrealist imagery are weaponized to blur the mechanisms of capitalism. In Dance with the Devil, these capitalist surrealist and fantastic aesthetics are appropriated to understand and display these mechanisms, but most of all they are celebrated as powerful tools capable of visualizing alternative worlds.

Dance with the Devil tries to understand how products are shaped by our desires and affect us emotionally. How we admire them, long for them, protect them, use them, attach memories to them and give them life.

The exhibition operates in the muddy waters of human intimacy with objects and capitalisms mastery of our desire of things. To be able to criticize capitalism and understand our present time you have to be able to understand the language of the system.

For the exhibition Anna and Esben has worked with fantasy illustrator Rasmus Jensen creating to images, one of them being used for the exhibition poster and folder. Poster and folder is both designed by Patricia Forbert.

For the opening there will be a performance by Esben Weile Kjær.
Exhibition period: June 1 – July 7, 2019

Dance with the Devil is the second exhibition of eight curated by Anna Margrethe Pedersen for the program VK Samtidskunst at Vestjyllands Kunstpavillon.