Nº 6
Week 36, 2014

For this issue of Opaque we feature two young, Scandinavian artists who each in their own way transgress the culture / nature divide: Golles by butchery Dit-Cilinn by adaptation.
We also feature a Danish artist run space that puts emphasis on its international curation.

Kaare Sebastian Golles graduated this year from the Malmö Art Academy and his sculptural practice manifests the conflicts of modernity in elaborate installations, minimalistic objects and concrete butchery – Opaque followed him to the museum and meat packing district.

The work of Swedish-Thai Dit-Cilinn entangles and dissolves any traditional opposition between man and nature.

Copenhagen based artist run space GREEN IS GOLD pursues a desire of opening up the Danish art scene to international artists, Opaque caught them for a micro interview.

Butchering traditions with Kaare Sebastian Golles

Category: Interview


All work photos by Terje Östling. For more information and individual titles please check out Kaare Golles’ website here.

Danish artist Kaare Sebastian Golles (b. 1985) works primarily with sculpture. Golles finished Malmö Art academy 2014 and his work explores the borders of culture vs. nature manifested, however, in a clash between classical sculpting – with its strict hierarchy and inherent ties to transcendence – and postmodern fragmentation.

He invited us to experience the marble statues of Danish neoclassicist sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, and then juxtaposed the experience with a guided tour in the grotesque environment of an industry wholesale meat department.

By Erik Duckert
Photos by: Martin Kurt Haglund

GOLLES: “I believe in the fragment.”

We move into the narrow halls of Thovaldsen’s Museeum in the center of Copenhagen. Each marble sculpture has its own little room and its own little ray of sunlight.

G: “I am fascinated with the classic Hellenistic sculptures but it is impossible to reach that kind of ideological unity today, everything is so fragmented and interchanging.”

G: “The biggest challenge today is to achieve unity.”

Runs his finger across Thorvaldsen’s award winning Jason with the Golden Fleece.

G: “I have struggled and struggled trying to sculpt a human body in its entirety – every time I have wound up chopping it.

Completely destroying it.

It is like there’s something unnatural in that figure in our time, the fragment has become reality and it seems the wound won’t heal.”

G: “It’s not because I have some perverted urge for the grotesque, but when I try to make something that is classically beautiful it becomes so nauseating that you can’t …

–  I just have to get out the hatchet and chop away at it.”

Golles’ deep voice lingers.

G: “Today we are completely handicapped when it comes to understanding a sculpture by for instance Michelangelo – we’ve lost the vocabulary for that conversation.”

We leave the museum and head for one of the industry wholesalers in the city. Golles worked for four years in a slaughterhouse and the historical development of ‘the slaughter’ as ritual and commercial product is a recurring theme in his practice.

G: “The preparation of the meal is one of the core ritualistic practices that establish the divide between nature and culture.”

G: “I find that the slaughterhouse represents a very one to one scale understanding of reality. I prefer that my work be cut to the bone, scrape away all the other layers, and I really think the slaughterhouse shows that approach well: the brutality but also the beauty of the slaughtered animals.”

G: “The ancient sacrificial structure is thriving in todays society. It has just shifted from a grandiose ritualistic practice to an everyday ritual, which is particularly evident through the processed consumption we see in the food industry.”

Leaving the chilled room of steel, plastic and meat Golles emphasizes:

G: “Sculpture has always been connected to death and demise, since the first stones raised on the graves of the deceased.”

Mailing with: Dit-Cilinn

Category: Q&A


All images courtesy of Dit-Cilinn, please check out her website for individual titles.

“I´m not certain about humanity´s place within nature and I think that is a good thing.”
– Dit-Cilinn

Born 1983 she attended the Royal Institute of Art and Valand Academy between 2006-2009. Dit-Cilinn received her MFA in 2013 at the California Collage of the Arts in San Fransisco.

We’ve asked Swedish–Thai Dit-Cilinn about her elaborate practice that combines a wide range of materials, organic and industrial, in intricate structures and massive installations.


How would you describe the overall intention of your artistic practice?

DC: “My work stems from a personal negotiation between present day urban life and a desire for something transcendent. I create tension between bodies of association out of which some subjective truth can emerge.”

Your work seem to engage the classical border between nature and culture, but without affirming the traditional binary contradiction between the two

 What are your thoughts on humanity’s place within nature?

DC: “To me there is no relevant distinction between nature and culture. They are lingual constructions separating that which is human made from that which is not.

In my work I often play with the ascribed hierarchy and associations of these constructs. I´m not certain about humanity´s place within nature and think that is a good thing.”

Describe utopia

DC: “Utopia is a useful concept. For me it relates to Science Fiction civilizations with white interiors, organic furniture, retinal VR interfaces, chlorophyllic fumes and interspecies communication.

Which is to say, I view utopia as a material index rather than an ideological crosshair. I think a preconceived vision of a perfected future can be malignant rather then helpful. Still, I think it’s a good idea to have sense of direction.”

What is the connection between the Kissing Mirrors project and your general practice?

DC: “Kissing Mirrors is an ongoing self-portrait project that I started as a teenager. Since then I have accumulated thousands of snapshots. Through the years I have contextualized them in a number of ways, none of which have been entirely satisfactory.

For the time being I see them as inhabitants of my spatial work. My installations are sets without a protagonist. My portraits are protagonists without sets. They transform with me.”

 Please elaborate on the thoughts behind the All Pores Open piece from 2013

 DC: “All Pores Open is collaboration with David Ohlsson in which our interest was to create a space where pantheism and industrial media could be interwoven.”

DC: “The installation recalls a monk cell with a bed, window and bowls to eat out of. The adjoining room is empty except for a birch bark surveillance lamp, which doubles as an all-seeing crow´s eye.

Harmonious contradictions are the focal point of the installation.”

Featured Space: Green Is Gold studio

Category: Spaces


All photos courtesy of GREEN IS GOLD, David Dale Gallery & Studios, Sander Uitdehaag, Katherine Rose, Inka Lindergård and Niclas Holmström. For additional information and individual titles please visit their website here. >>Click images for slideshow.<<

Lately artist run exhibition platforms have gained new momentum on the Scandinavian art scene.

The spaces come in different sizes, have different lifespans and at times very different ideological pursuits. Common for them all, though, is that they depend on the goodwill of artists ready to invest their time in creating alternatives to the commercial galleries and government institutions.

Artist run spaces can be difficult to spot when browsing mainstream media so in every issue of Opaque we’ll give a short presentation of a space that we think you should pay a visit to.

GREEN IS GOLD is a Copenhagen based, non-profit artist run exhibition space, which was opened in 2011 by Danish artists Amalie Bønnelycke Lunøe and Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

The two danes met whilst studying at The Glasgow School of Art, Scotland in 2006. Returning to Denmark in 2010, they sat up their studio community in the old apartment space in Hyskenstræde.

This soon led to the opening of GREEN IS GOLD as a natural extension of their own art practice, to create opportunities for showing pioneering contemporary visual art.

GIG: “We thought it fitting for the Copenhagen scene to have more foreign up and coming – we’d both studied abroad and that fueled a desire to show international artists in Denmark.”

Do you sell work?

GIG: “A bit … we’ve talked a lot about not just being a space that puts on an exhibition and then terminates the collaboration with the artist but we can’t fill the role of a traditional gallerist.

So the way we try to aid the artists is to show the same artists several times, hold on them so they are not just displayed and forgotten but kept in rotation, that’s kind of what we are able to do within our resources.

– It is so annoying people who have money don’t buy more art from artist runs, cause that is where the money really matters.”

GREEN IS GOLD STUDIO is constantly in a state of evolution and in 2012 a publishing house was added, from where artist books, print editions and the touch-book PUBLICATION was released.

What  does the future hold for GREEN IS GOLD?

GIG: “Places like this have a pretty steep learning curb and our ambition has grown in accordance with our experience, so in the future we want to make even more, even better exhibitions involving international up and comers.”

For additional information please visit the GREEN IS GOLD website or pass by the space at: Hyskenstræde 3, 1207 København K, Denmark.