An exhibition that expands the concept of vertigo to reflect an age of dramatic change.

9 April – 4 September 2022 • Level 5

(Note: former closing date 11 September)

On 9 April ARoS opens the exhibition Vertigo which presents five installation works by a number of prominent contemporary artists from different parts of the world. In addition to their visual qualities the works share a high degree of complexity, thus reflecting the contemporary world in which they were created. Without actually being political the works relate to society at large by pointing to the complexity of human existence, to name just an example.

“With the exhibition Vertigo, we want to give the public an insight into a complex present. A present that contributes to creating a feeling of unease and fear. Our mission as an art museum is to be relevant and reflect the times we live in, which is why this exhibition is important for ARoS and our audience right now,” says Rebecca Matthews, director at ARoS.

We usually associate the term vertigo with the physical and sensory experience of being disoriented. It is a physical reaction to an external force that affects us, causing the world to blur and flicker before our eyes and making us lose our bearings. 

“In the Vertigo exhibition, we extend the concept to comprise a mental state that mirrors a world marked by the violent changes that we have all been experiencing in recent years. The digital society, pandemics and climate upheaval are all highly topical phenomena while, at the same time, rendering both the present and the future intangible and abstract,” says Jakob Vengberg Sevel, curator-in-charge, ARoS.

The artists in the exhibition are all trying to portray what it feels like to be human in a time of flux. How do you dream or imagine a complex future? How can art find a form for that which seems beyond recognition and is abstract? All the artists in the exhibition make their works revolve around complexity and intangibility, allowing the audience to sense what is complex and overwhelming.

Ann Lislegaard (b.1962, Denmark)
Crystal World, 2006
Lislegaard is particularly known for the use of new technology in her artistic work. She draws inspiration from the genre of science fiction as an alternative approach to the narrative and the social and psychological structures through which we understand the world. She often works with the spatial understanding of the individual and the limits of perception, as well as exploring the boundaries between fiction and reality.

Cao Fei (b.1978, China)
Nova, 2019
Cao Fei is a Chinese multimedia artist whose work often examines virtual realities and the way today’s rapid technological developments are radically changing our understanding of ourselves and our position in the world. Human beings are no longer just physical, quantifiable bodies, but have acquired a myriad of digital imprints. In Cao Fei’s work the new reality we all inhabit never becomes an unequivocal dystopia or utopia. With satirical and surrealist humour Cao Fei’s work often addresses such themes as the modern metropolis, modern man’s engagement in virtual platforms as a form of escapism, or the conditions of the Chinese workers who make the new technological revolution possible.

Jeremy Shaw (b.1977, Canada)
Phase Shifting Index, 2020
The Canadian artist Jeremy Shaw often investigates cultural and scientific phenomena in which transcendental experiences play a central role. Many of his works focus on themes such as belief systems, neuroscience, subcultures and dance. Several of these themes also feature in his work Phase Shifting Indexwhich is on display in the exhibition.

Julian Charrière (b.1987, Switzerland)
Vertigo, 2021
Charrière’s works are often based on an investigative practice that allows scientific practices to overlap, for example in geology, biology, physics, history and archaeology. His works often resemble archaeological investigations of a phenomenon, where he arrives at complex and ambiguous conclusions by exploring his subject from various angles. Many of his works point to themes such as man’s quest to master and overcome nature and its resources, highlighting the many issues this raises.

Trisha Baga (b.1985, USA)
Mollusca & The Pelvic Floor, 2018
The American artist Trisha Baga’s artistic output spans a wide range of media from video to sculptural elements. She often works with immersive installations, combining several artistic media in a total installation.

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to generous financial support from:
SC Van FondenNy Carlsberg FondetBeckett Fonden

Jakob Vengberg Sevel, curator, ARoS.

Press photos may be downloaded free of charge from DropBox, quoting photo credits.

For further information, please contact:
Jakob Vengberg Sevel, curator: / +45 2835 2656

Press and Communications: / 0045 2888 4464