Dance Macabre – Artistic Contemplations in the Wake of the Pandemic

The exhibition Dance Macabre weaves together several artistic perspectives on the pandemic resulting from forced isolation. It features an interweaving of artworks by two Danish/Swedish artists whose works complement each other – Alba S. Enström and Lone Larsen. A symbolic collaboration of what is near but at the same time far away, during and as a result of the pandemic.

Alba S. Enström

Artist Alba S. Enström was raised in Ystad, Sweden, and educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, Copenhagen. After his studies, he remained in Denmark and is now an established artist there. Lone Larsen on the other hand moved the opposite direction, from Denmark to Sweden, and has been a prominent artist for decades in the north west of Scania and an established artist on a national level.

The fallout of the pandemic made a significant impact on the artists in different ways. Alba S. Enström’s artistic practice is generally inspired based on by human relations and how the individual relates to the world around them. Delving into the fringes of society, he explores the lives of poets, musicians and other artists while maintaining a motif of love and celebration of life, despite periods of difficulty. He shares with us a suite of seven larger paintings completed during the spring of 2020 during lockdown in Denmark. Forced isolation resulted in many long, intensive months in the studio. In retrospect, the suite turned out to be a celebration of the collective and performative arts that were abandoned during the pandemic (theatre, dance, music, circus and more). Additionally, the designs of the motif resemble classic themes of the Dance Macabre: Contemporary interpretations of memento mori, or a reminder that death is ever present.

Lone Larsen

The body plays a central role in Lone Larsen’s sculptures. Even before the pandemic, the artist was working on a new form of expression but when the pandemic struck she had planned on quitting working as a district nurse but decided to stay as she figured that her help was needed and she consider it being her military service. The constant presence of sick people, the lurking threat of death and intermingling of humanity has resulted in a new series of sculptures, all named as mutations.

Artistic Contemplations in the Wake of the Pandemic

The exhibition as a whole can be understood as a reflection on the conditions for cultural creation and the consequences, which are likely be distinct long into the future and that contribute to several shifts of paradigm. In art history, many of the most notable artworks are created during times of change.

A program of events has been planned in conjunction with the exhibition, including viewings, discussions, and a concert in connection with the Helsingborg Piano Festival (according to pandemic guidelines of course).

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