Memoirs of the Abyss: Three Ecologies and More
Curated by Malou Solfjeld
Finissage and Talk
8 August 2021
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For the closing day of the exhibition Memoirs of the Abyss: Three Ecologies and More, curator Malou Solfjeld invited sculptor Ida Retz Wessberg and author Sophia Handler to continue a conversation they had started a month earlier at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde. On this occasion, they also invited psychologist John Solfjeld to join the discussion. The panel discussed the history of mental illness and in connection to this the problematic power relations between sculpture Auguste Rodin and his female assistant Camille Claudel; the structural, societal and physical differences between the genders; the social and gender conventions that dominate societal approaches to sickness and healthcare; as well as the influence of hormones on human bodies and psyches, and the absence of social structures in working life that can adapt to the cycle of the female body. The talk was rounded off with two readings, including Sophia Handler reading from her forthcoming novel, the second part of a trilogy about the human fight, flight or freeze response mechanism.
Please note that the talk and therefore the above video documentation are in Danish only.
Ida Retz Wessberg is a sculptor educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Art, 2018. She addresses issues of the body, gender, the relationship between the material and the immaterial, the visible and the invisible. She is also concerned with focusing on a female narrative in sculptural tradition. Alongside producing her own works, she is currently undertaking independent artistic research into the French sculptor Camille Claudel in the archives of the Musee Rodin, Paris.
Sophia Handler is a writer educated at the School of Creative Writing, Bergen, 2016. She is interested in how psychology and technology can be seen as two sides of the same issue, when speaking about human beings as organisms controlled by biological processes. Her novel ‘Fe’ was published by Rosinante in 2019 and is the first part of a trilogy about the Stress Response Mechanism. She also holds an MA from the University of Copenhagen, with a thesis on the representation of mental illness in modern French literature.