Artist talk and conversation with Marie Kølbæk Iversen (DK) & Grethe Kramer Berthelsen (GL) on transatlantic traces of recollection between Greenland and the West Jutland heath
Experience artist Marie Kølbæk Iversen in conversation with Grethe Kramer Berthelsen on Thursday 15 September at 17h.
Kramer Berthelsen is Greenlandic and Kølbæk Iversen is Danish, but they are related, bound together by their common ancestry on the West Jutland heath and through their common interest in investigating how international geopolitics play out on intimate and micro-political levels between people and in families.
In recent years, Denmark’s colonial history in Greenland has been the subject of renewed debate, as the concrete circumstances of the Danish state’s control and Danification initiatives have been revealed in reports on the Greenland Commission G50. Through the ancestral threads that bind them together, Grethe Kramer Berthelsen and Marie Kølbæk Iversen will examine some of the processes of modernization that have played out between Greenland and the West Jutland heath since the post-war period, not least in the wake of the 1953-inclusion of Greenland as a county in the Danish kingdom.
The artist talk is based on Marie Kølbæk Iversen’s exhibition Rovhistorier (Histories of Predation) at O—Overgaden (27 August – 23 October), originating from the artist’s ongoing PhD project. With Histories of Predation, Marie Kølbæk Iversen traverses time, borders, and cultures, when traveling into the eye of the gurry shark, a deep-sea fish also known as the Greenland shark. The gurry shark travels across the North Atlantic region from the White Sea and Skagerrak in the east, to Greenland and Svalbard in the north, and Canada in the west. Recently, marine biologists have estimated, via carbon-14 dating of its eye lens nuclei, that the gurry shark can live to between 272 and 512 years old. This makes the gurry shark the longest-living known vertebrate in the world. Histories of Predation combines art, folklore, and modern science, to reflect on the 500 years of colonial, imperial, and environmental struggles playing out in the North Atlantic region, where Danish influence has been, and continues to be, central.
The talk will be in Danish.
Registration is not necessary and entry to O—Overgaden is, as always, free.
At the event you will meet:
Grethe Kramer Berthelsen (b. 1957, GL) born in Aasiaat, as the first child of Methe from Akunnaaq (Aasiaat) and Vagner from Herning. Vagner was the cousin and a close friend to Marie Kølbæk Iversens grandmother, Maja, and they stayed in close contact until Maja’s recent death.
Grethe lived with her parents and siblings in Aasiaat until 1961, when they moved to Ilulissat and later to Nuuk. Grethe will participate alongside her husband Ove Karl, who spent the first years of his life in a village near Sismiut, GL, before he as an eleven-year-old was enrolled in an educational programe that brought him to Denmark along with many other Greenlandic children, and later to Nuuk. The biographies of Grethe og Ove reflect in different ways the development in Greenland since the G50 when the Danish state initiated a broad-spectrum modernisation- and danification programme that brought many Danes, like Vagner, to move to Greenland to work.
Marie Kølbæk Iversen (b. 1981, DK) lives and works between Copenhagen and Oslo. She graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008 and will complete her practice-based PhD in 2022 with the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo and Aarhus University. Kølbæk Iversenʼs work is represented in several public collections and she has exhibited widely in Denmark and internationally, including at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (DK), Gwangju Biennale (KR), and Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (NO). Since 2017, Kølbæk Iversen’s work has dealt with the unrecognized cultural heritage of the West Jutland heath through the music and performance project Donnimaar.