Objektet, jeg er

24 July – 5 September 2021
Køppe Contemporary Objects

Who knows
if things don't
know in themselves
that we’re called 
something else.

This excerpt from the Danish poet Inger Christensen’s ‘Letter in April’ (trans. Susanna Nied) from 1979 invites us to consider ourselves and the rest of the world on the object’s terms. This perspective has served as the basis for Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen’s solo exhibition Objektet, jeg er.

In the creative process, the material almost becomes a sort of subject that answers back, expresses feelings, has a memory. The final piece is the product of an interaction between the two – in this case, the artist and the clay. In Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen’s own description, her engagement with the clay springs from an accumulation of energy and restlessness and observations of unusual encounters and the conflicts they give rise to. Her works are easily decoded, free from contrived or speculative precepts and, most importantly, unpredictable, as a result of her deliberately impulsive process. These
conversations with the object – clay, wood, glaze – are the overarching theme of Objektet, jeg er.

‘I wish to meet the object on equal footing and allow the dialogue to set the course. How can the object and I coexist on equal terms? How does the object exist independent of human perception, and can it exist on its own terms? The exhibition examines the object as something other and more than inanimate materiality – as something that is imbued with insight, knowledge, feelings and lived experience,’ says Pernille and underscores the crucial importance of dialogue.

The American philosopher Graham Harman has formulated the theory of Object-Oriented Ontology, which claims that objects and human beings are equal and that it should be mandatory to embrace a perception of reality that goes beyond the common anthropocentric worldview: ‘All such objects must be accounted for by ontology, not merely denounced or reduced to despicable nullities,’ he writes. Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen’s works of art thus enter into a mutual dialogue with each other that takes place on the same terms as their dialogue with the viewer.

Photo Kasper Agergaard

Tak til Statens Kunstfond