I am fire and water

Ursula Reuter Christiansen

Foto: Mads Nørgaard - Copenhagen

How can we be human in a world where hope and courage are constantly challenged by cruelty and despair? What do we do when children are robbed of their lives in war? And how do we part with this world, standing between love and the abyss?

The exhibition I Am Fire and Water is a powerful performance by Ursula Reuter Christiansen bringing together eight major installations from the earliest years to the present day, from painting and sculpture to installation and film. Several of the works in the exhibition have been created especially for this exhibition.

For six decades, Ursula Reuter Christiansen has been among the most significant living artists in Denmark, and today she stands on the threshold of an international breakthrough. In her artistic practice, she transforms her lived life into art and comes to grips with the crises and disasters unfolding in the world. Beauty and harmony give way to the powerful and uncomfortable when Reuter Christiansen brings to life fears and longings that are not only her own but are part of the human condition.

She invites you to take a walk through the exhibition, which at the same time is a walk through the facets of life. From the colossal installation Rotten Eggs Against Bombs, in which rotten eggs drift down the canvases, to Washed Out Faces, composed of white pieces of fabric displaying blood-red demon-faces, hung to dry on oversized laundry racks. In the installation Es Ist Zu Spät, created especially for this exhibition, one walks with the artist on a journey through – and perhaps a parting with – the world. A whispering voice repeats the message “es ist noch nicht zu spät” (it is not too late) and shortly after “es ist zu spät” (it is too late). A balance on a knife edge between hope and hopelessness.

Ursula Reuter Christiansen was born in 1943 in Trier, Germany. From 1965 to 1969 she studied under Joseph Beuys at the art academy in Düsseldorf and then moved to Denmark, where she gained great importance as an artist in the women’s movement. She was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg from 1992 to 1996 and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen from 1997 to 2006.

The exhibition is supported by

New Carlsberg Foundation
The National Art Fund
Consul Georg Jorck and Wife Emma Jorcks Fund
Lemvigh-Müller Foundation

Ursula Reuter Christiansen, Rotten Eggs Against Bombs II, 2020. Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Ursula Reuter Christiansen, Rotten Eggs Against Bombs II, 2020. Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Foto: Mads Nørgaard - Copenhagen

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