Christine Overvad Hansen
2 October – 7 November 2020
Daphne travels through the forest on the run from the god Apollo, who, struck by Cupid’s arrow, is driven by wild desire. They rush off between the trees, she in fear and he in hope. The pursuer is fastest but as her last hope of salvation, Daphne invokes the gods to be freed from her body. Suddenly her arms and legs become heavy, the skin is covered with bark, her hair turns into leaves and her arms into branches. She is transformed on the spot into a laurel tree.
In the ancient Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo, the transformation from human to plant life is Daphne’s only, desperate way to preserve the right to her own body. And in Christine Overvad Hansen’s exhibition Figura Carpool, it is also the transformation into other materialities that carries the narratives in the nine works.
The sculptures form a choir of mythological voices, each telling its own story of transformation, transcendence and transformation, but also seeking a community in the transformation. From Greek mythology, Daphne, Byblis and Charon mingle with Jewish folklore in the form of the clay creature Golem and tell about the transformation as the escape from a body – and also about the escape from the transformation. But the exhibition also contains stories about the transgressions and transitions that happen when we step in and out of social relationships in the encounter with other people. In our reflections of each other’s bodies and actions and the ambivalent potential found here.
In Figura Carpool, a new figuration has found its way into Christine Overvad Hansen’s sculptural language. A foot, the outline of eyes, the shape of something that could be a face and of something that draws the contour of a body. But Figura Carpool’s signs of human presence are at once intrusive and erased. In the various stages of transformation of the works, it almost seems as if they are shaking off the last humanity. But at the same time, they leave behind the opportunity to recognize ourselves and each other in the working bodies of bronze and stoneware. Like when Apollo wraps his arms around Daphne’s budding body and notices that a heart is still beating behind the bark.
The works’ transformations from soft modeled forms to bronze or burnt stoneware are material narratives about a process of creation, about the transformation from one form to a new one. This is how the works constantly shift and translate the relationship between the creative and the created: between bodies and materiality, myths and everyday events. The works invite us to reconnect with the world. And they are tales that we may already be in transformation.