«Corridor III: VALDEMAR DAA»
Viborg Kunsthal I Riddergade 8, DK-8800 Viborg
24.06. – 03.09.2017
With: Jenny Brockmann, Irina Birger, A/A (Andreas Greiner & Armin Keplinger), Kitty Kraus, Alicja Kwade, Helene Hellmich, huber.huber, Julian Rosefeldt, Elsa Salonen, Nika Fontaine, Scene Everything, Troika, Virginie Yassef
From 24th June - 3rd September 2017 the exhibition Corridor III: Valdemar Daa, curated by the
Berlin-based collective insitu, will turn the Kunsthal Viborg into a location where an old Viborg
story is brought to life and the magic of alchemy can be experienced.
For Aarhus, European Capital of Culture 2017, insitu presents the culmination of an ambitious
three exhibition cycle dealing with the potential of time travel. Described as Corridors each
exhibition takes visitors on an unfolding narrative that provides a special exhibition-viewing
experience. Corridor III: Valdemar Daa begins with a historic moment related to the legend around
Valdemar Daa, whose body lies in a coffin at the Viborg Cathedral and whose story had inspired
the Hans Christian Andersen tale “The Story of the Wind” (1859).
Around 1660, the Danish alchemist Valdemar Daa - while depleting his family fortune in its pursuit
- was convinced that he found the philosopher’s stone. Shortly after, so the story goes, the glass
containing the precious liquid ruptured and smashed. He was never able to prove his discovery.
The philosopher’s stone is one of the most sought-after treasures in the world of alchemy. Over
hundreds of years, alchemists from the Arabic countries through to East Asia and Europe have
tried to create the magical mixture said to prolong life and transform impure material into pure.
Corridor III: Valdemar Daa invites visitors to enter into a mindset where different kinds of mystical
knowledge and beliefs pervaded over today’s version of science. They will be taken on a journey
through the mysteries of alchemy, the human faith in the potential for natural materials to hold
treasures of incredible power, and one person’s obsessive search for the seemingly impossible.
This unique exhibition includes a combination of specially commissioned works of art, existing
works by prominent and emerging international artists, as well as thematic artefacts from other
disciplines. The artworks and artefacts will be presented throughout the multi-room Kunsthal
according to key concepts related to the story of Valdemar Daa: Transmutation, Obsession for the
Impossible, the Philosopher’s Stone, and the History of Alchemy.
The multidisciplinary design studio S cene Everything will present an engaging scenography that
takes viewers through the history of alchemy from the time of Valdemar Daa in the 1660s up to
today. The collective T roika will present for the first time in Denmark the site-specific light
installation “Arcades”. Furthermore, visitors will be able to read the very first edition of Hans
Christian Andersen’s “The Story of the Wind” and see documentation from the State Museum of
Prehistory in Halle, Germany who recreated the chemical experiments conducted by alchemists in
the middle ages.
Starting from physical and chemical natural phenomena, the works by Jenny Brockmann , Virginie
Yassef and the duo A / A (Andreas Greiner & Armin Keplinger) create a wondrous atmosphere with
floating water droplets, liquified metal and a levitating stone. Visitors will enter a magical
laboratory, and meet transformed minerals that promise to have healing superpowers by the duo
huber.huber . Further, works speculate on the human condition that lies behind the obsessive
search of the alchemists. I rina Birger’s hypnotic animation of an Ouroboros - the ancient symbol of
a serpent eating its own tail, and Helene Hellmich’s meticulous collection of clouds both recall the
restless search of these wise mad men. Works by N ika Fontaine, Elsa Salonen and Kitty Kraus
take us on a spiritual journey to one of the best kept secrets of science: the philosopher's stone,
the so-called elixir of life. Additional highlights will include work by Alicija Kwade who is in the
upcoming Venice Biennale and internationally acclaimed filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt with an
immersive 3-channel video installation.
insitu is a curatorial collective, consisting of Marie Graftieaux, Nora Mayr, Gilles Neiens and Lauren
Reid. Established in 2012, insitu has also been running as a project space in Berlin. insitu
conceptualises its program in annual Cycles, which provide a thematic focus for the upcoming
exhibitions and events of the year. Increasingly we are interested in experimenting with curatorial
formats and developing narration within an exhibition. Insitu is increasingly interested in
experimenting with curatorial formats – How can we change the behavior of visitors in an
exhibition? How can the expectations of exhibition viewing be readjusted? How can the
encounter with an individual artwork be re-thought?