Sidsel Meineche Hansen
Real Doll Theatre
3 November 18 – 6 January 19
Opening: 2 November 18, 7 pm
For KW, London-based artist Sidsel Meineche Hansen presents the exhibition Real Doll Theatre, which includes collaborative works with filmmaker Therese Henningsen and musicians Asger, and Holger Hartvig, as well as a live set by the London-based Music project Ectopia of Adam Christensen, Jack Brennan and Viki Steiri.
Sidsel Meineche Hansen’s practice focuses on the industrial complex that connects virtual and robotic bodies with human labor in the pharmaceutical, pornographic, and tech industries. Real Doll Theatre continues this line of enquiry, with particular focus on the development of sex dolls and robots, as one derivative of automated reproductive labor, that creates a split in ownership between gendered products and embodied genders.
Real Doll Theatre at KW includes new video work, laser-cut drawings, sound and sculpture and unfolds through the notion of reproductive labor as animation. The gallery space is commanded by the sculpture Untitled (Sex Robot) (2018), which takes the form of a ball-jointed, life-size wooden doll and is divided in two by a scenographic element, entitled Hellmouth (To Madame) (2018); a double-sided latex orifice that references the magical play of medieval theatre and functions as the stage-set for the performance by Ectopia. Reminiscent of Gregorian chanting the song Neo-libertine (2018), made in collaboration with Asger and Holger Hartvig will be playing at regular intervals in the gallery. The installation is accompanied by the video Maintenancer (2018), made in collaboration with Therese Henningsen. The video explores sex work and the maintenance of sex dolls in the context of a German (doll) brothel. It documents the initial transitions into post-human prostitution, where sex work shifts from the physical body of the sex worker onto the sex doll or robot, with the doll as an interlocutor, whose dead weight demands regular lifting, disinfection and repair.
Along different but parallel veins, the exhibition explores art’s consumption, questioning the implication of the artist’s role as both producer and product, and the limited control they have over their market value. The presentation at KW is part of a developing body of work called PRE-ORDER I-III, which unfolds across three venues: Kunsthal Aarhus, the National Gallery of Denmark – Statens Museum for Kunst, and KW. The three exhibitions share the same conceptual framework and economy, with each of these institutions contributing towards the development of the sculpture Untitled (Sex Robot). To the adult market of frictionless silicon bodies, the sculpture Untitled (Sex Robot) adds an abject and institutionally financed prototype, with consequent new replicas to be made on demand. This association between sex and art as commodities is not posed as metaphorical one, but positions the art object in parallel to the sex robot, as a result of instrumentalised desire, embedded within their production, distribution, and sale.
Curator: Anna Gritz
Assistant curator: Maurin Dietrich
Real Doll Theatre presents Ectopia
28 November 18, 8 pm
Venue: 3rd floor
Admission: 5€ / 3€ reduced
Real Doll Theatre presents the London based music project Ectopia consisting of Viki Steiri, Adam Christensen and Jack Brennan. Their live performance will take place at 8 pm on 28 November in the third floor gallery. More information to follow.