Marie Kølbæk iversen: Mirror Therapy, 11th Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju, South Korea, 2016.

Marie Kølbæk Iversen

Marie Kølbæk Iversen is a Visual Artist MFA from the Department of Time-Based Media at Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, DK, 2008. Born April 19th 1981 in Herning, Denmark. Lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. Recent exhibitions include: “Io/I” and Matrilineal Collapse, PARMER, New York, USA, 2017 / The Eight Climate (What Does Art Do?), The 11th Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju, South Korea, 2016 / Spin and the Wolf, Overgaden, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016 / Transformer (solo), Brandts, Odense, Denmark, 2015 / Mirror Therapy (solo), Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2015 / BIM, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland, and MONA, Hobart, Australia, 2014-15 / Consciousness, ARTEFACT ‘14, STUK Kunstencentrum, Leuven, Belgium, 2014 / Dexter Bang Sinister, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2012 / Execution – into decapital (solo), IMO, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2012.

Neo-worlds: Other-directed potentialities of fright

The conceptual complex for my research is fright. A strong affect encountered in the face of life-threatening events, we are not accustomed to think of fright as an agent of futurity and betterment. Yet this is the way it has been understood in various pre-industrial ritual cultures, unfolding (through) the liminal phase of the rite of passage.

Fright is the response to a life-threatening event as it is happening, leading to altered states of consciousness producing dissociative visions that transport the person away from the traumatic event – a feature possibly also underlying shamanistic vision quests. In shamanist cultures fright is thought to hold transformative and visionary powers if one is capable of facing it. Yet rather than exploring foreign cultures’ rituality, I investigate fright and fright-handling practices in a contemporary mainstream Western context through what has been – is – in many cultures a significant rite of passage: labour.

Through fieldwork among labouring women and new mothers – whose visions will serve as the basis for sci-fi artworks – I explore whether labouring women, facing fright and daring death, might serve as an unexpected reservoir of visionary thought at a point in time when Western thinking has led to a dead end?
Marie Kølbæk Iversen