The Apology | Jette Hye Jin Mortensen

Photo courtesy of Anders Sune Berg

The Apology | Jette Hye Jin Mortensen

With scientific evidence in one hand, and the immediacy of feeling in the other, Jette Hye Jin Mortensen transforms Overgaden into a healing space that explores the distance between shared cultural traumas and personal, existential issues.

Photo courtesy of Anders Sune Berg

In 2010 in the House of Commons the English Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a formal apology for England’s role in forcibly sending more than 100,000 poverty-stricken English children to the British colonies. Many of these Home Children ended up living in slave-like conditions as labourers, without ever seeing their families again. In Jette Hye Jin Mortensen’s first major solo exhibition, the current, international adoption system is linked to the collective, cultural trauma of the historical deportation of children during the colonial era. Here the public apology is central, as a transformative and releasing catalyst of the healing and negotiation process.

Photo courtesy of Anders Sune Berg

In a sensuous exhibition of video, sound and installation, where the body of the artist is present down to the level of DNA and cells, a healing room is created – a meditative platform where history, science, the body and emotions intersect. Jette Hye Jin Mortensen inserts her own body and history into the equation, starting a process of transformation at the micro level – a process that through the effects of specific metals, meditations, colours and sound frequencies, slowly spreads into the world – where it may generate change there too.

Photo courtesy of Anders Sune Berg

The exhibition is designed as a ritual sequence, where the passage between bodily states and historical and mental states are experienced and merge. The viewer meets a cacophonic media archive of voices from the past and the present, Gordon Brown’s official apology, elements of the artist’s personal history, as well as installations that draw on quantum mechanics, chemical elements, brain research and the energy of colours. The exhibition culminates in a healing room, where the bodies of both the artist and the audience become the primary receptors of electro-acoustic sound waves and colour frequencies.

Photo courtesy of Anders Sune Berg

Jette Hye Jin Mortensen’s art is often based on identity as an extended, existential category in a broader psychological and sociological context. She is interested in creating new negotiations and new spaces for negotiation – like theatre stages, therapeutic spaces and prayer/meditation rooms. In The Apology at Overgaden, Jette Hye Jin Mortensen draws on her earlier artistic investigations, gathering them in a total installation that questions the links between inheritance and environment, and strives to understand our eternal quest to find our true origins. The exhibition locates itself at the intersection of the sensory and the theoretical, and navigates between collective and personal history.

Jette Hye Jin Mortensen: The Apology
Overgaden, Institute of Contemporary Art. Copenhagen, Denmark
22 June – 18 August 2013

more. www.overgaden.org | www.jettehyejinmortensen.com

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