Above the Sky, Beneath the Ground
Curated by Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller
1 October - 27 November 2021

SixtyEight Art Institute is very pleased to launch the third installment of its programme Memoirs of Saturn with the exhibition Above the Sky, Beneath the Ground curated by Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller. This exhibition project unfolds into two exhibition parts: Biting the Nest, a group exhibition with Anna Samsøe, Anne Guro Larsmon, Linnéa Gad; followed by The Zombie Function, a solo exhibition by Iris Smeds. Together, the two parts of this exhibition project aim to reflect a contemporary and multi-layered curatorial research into the artistic meeting points and ideas around New Materialism, posthumanism, animism, and deep ecology in art.

Please note that there are two exhibition periods within the same exhibition project, which include two separate openings, and a live event:
First opening (group exhibition): FRIDAY 1 October, 18:00-21:00
Second opening (solo exhibition): FRIDAY 29 October, 18:00-21:00

Gothersgade 167, København K


The exhibition The Zombie Function, the second part of Above the Sky, Beneath the Ground, will work as an aesthetic contrast to the group exhibition Biting the Nest. It will reveal itself as a total installation that humorously and grotesquely processes the family as an institution and in extension an allegory of the State. Where the group exhibition examined a more concrete material approach through a conscious and ethical collaboration with distinct geological materials, Iris Smed’s solo exhibition opens questions about gender, biological materiality (the body) and the psychological intangible (family heritage), which operates on a more symbolic, social, and structural level.

Iris Smed’s work examines our existence and society from a poetic and performative perspective, and her project blurs the boundaries between installation, performance, video and sculpture, often with theatrical and surreal imagery.

At SixtyEight Art Institute, Smeds will build a set design showing a total installation including two sculptures - Time and Space and Dog - alongside a new manuscript that is available for viewers to read and incorporated into the scene of the overall installation. The installation is a part of her ongoing film project ”The Little House in the Food Court” and at the end of the exhibition, she will shoot a new scene where a group of four will read the manuscript and give a round table talk about their own family roles. The exhibition works to put the family construct on display and interrogate the generational threats that lie within it. It also shows how humanity, because of its will to reproduce itself, tends also to reproduce its history and therefore risks making the same mistakes again and again if we do not reflect on the forms we have already created.

SixtyEight is delighted that The Zombie Function will be the first solo exhibition by Iris Smeds in Denmark. At the same time, she is participating in Sweden in the group show A careful Strike at Mint in Stockholm and running till 11 December, 2021. Following these exhibitions, Smeds' overall installation at SixtyEight Art Institute will be included in a group exhibition, organised and curated by Mint, at Varberg Konsthall from 5 February – 1 May, 2022.

This exhibit will also be accompanied by a Symposium: One Creation, Many Realms that will be hosted in the main entrance hall of Thorvaldsens Museum on Saturday, 13 November 12:00 - 16:00 and that has been organised by curator Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller for SixtyEight Art Institute.

All updates for the Symposium will be announced via our Instagram account: @68artinsitute and via our newsletter.


Iris Smeds (b. 1984) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Iris Smeds has participated in several large group and solo exhibitions in recent years, nationally and internationally. In 2019, she received the Maria Bonnier Dahlin Stipend and is represented in the collections of Maria Bonnier Dahlin and Moderna Museet.

Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller (b. 1984) is an independent curator with a curatorial practice concerning new media, biomimicry, social structures, gender and performativity. She holds an MA in Visual Culture from Copenhagen University and an international MA in Curation from Aarhus University.


In the wake of the pandemic and encompassing climate changes, we face globally a state of diminishing control on both the societal and at the individual level. The modernist worldview and the capitalist systems that were developed to fit it have been proved unsustainable, triggering a new swathe of romanticized visions of nature in the Global North, both in concrete and spiritual terms. People are not only compelled to seek spaces for reflection and contemplation in the outdoors, but are also put under pressure by modern lifestyles to assume a certain performativity with nature. We have understood that nature can to some extent heal us, but the project to really embed our harmony with the natural world starts with an inward ability to dialogue with our own nature.

Therefore, what is key to understand is that WE ARE NATURE and that nature’s state is rough, as is our human condition. We have the option to learn to let go of control and ownership of the planet by dismantling anthropocentric worldviews, rather than continuing to drive them. To this end, the exhibition Biting the Nest, which is the first part of Above the Sky, Beneath the Ground, seeks to create a context for examining alternative and current structures explored by artists who are working with slow processes, deep research, re-connections, and reflectivity as methods for an artistic inwardness concerned with new dimensions of materiality and Gaia; i.e. Earth as a conscious being.

Biting the Nest shows contributions from three artists: Anna Samsøe, Anne Guro Larsmon and Linnéa Gad. Their works display a sensitivity in relation to their processing of materials and in the dialogue they create between the artworks in this group show, as well as through their different mediums and approaches.

In the case of Anna Samsøe, who makes clay sculptures combining human aspects and animal expressions with unknown forms, she creates evocative living hybrids that emphasize an uncanny experience of creation that is difficult to categorize. In Samsøe’s work, the materiality of sound is further examined in her sculptures through their play with the perception of reality and the physical environment itself.

In contrast, Anne Guru Larsmon studies the intelligence of flowers with inspiration from Charles Darwin’s drawings of plant movements executed in 1880. Darwin’s drawings also happen to be reminiscent of star maps, and through abstraction Larsmon has transformed the patterns of these into sculptures. She is concerned with materials, such as brass and steel, and also adds a series of glass works to this exhibition, which contain healing plants like Elderberry and poisonous ones as Lily of the Valley or Lady's Glove.

Linnéa Gad immerses herself in the investigation of limestone, oyster shells and lapis lazuli, driven by her fascination with materials that are different forms of one mineral - lime. Gad has on that account been searching for ways to sculpt only in lime, utilizing its diversity or its willingness to bind with different versions of itself. Her contribution in this exhibition then becomes an exercise in thinking about the life cycles of lime as material and understanding time frames beyond that of a single human.

By putting forward these different approaches to how to work consciously and ethically with materiality, this first exhibition part suggests how we can engage in the world around us in a more curious, empathetic and respectful way. To this end, this curatorial research project seeks to investigate different artistic approaches to materiality, performativity, and contemporary societal structures by broadening the perspective on engagement and re-connection. Hoping with the best of intentions that this will help cultivate new approaches for collective behaviour, between human and non-human entities, and through a phenomenological and non-hierarchical approach.


Anna Samsøe (b. 1987) is a Danish artist who lives and works in Skive, Denmark. Samsøe graduated from the Funen Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She works across various materials and media as clay and sound, where she is interested in investigating ideas of reality and immateriality. Samsøe’s work has been exhibited at Gl. Holtegaard, Brandts 13 and Gl. Strand among others.

Anne Guro Larsmon (b. 1981) is a Norwegian artist based in Oslo and Los Angeles with a BFA from Bergen National Academy of the Arts and a MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Her work is mostly based on analytical research, ideas and content derived from a scientific point of view as well as mythological and cinematographic heritage. Larsmon’s work has been exhibited at the Jace Space (LA), Vigeland Museum (NO), IAC Malmö (SE) and Charlottenborg Kunsthal (DK) among others.

Linnéa Gad (b. 1990) is a Swedish artist with a BFA in Fine Arts from Parsons The New School for Design and is currently earning her MFA in Fine Arts at Columbia University School of The Arts in New York. With landscape as her subject matter, Gad explores geological change, calling for empathy for the earth’s resources through printmaking, sculpture and installations. Recent solo exhibitions include Erratics at Spencer Brownstone Gallery and Mound Remover at New Release Gallery in NYC. Her first publication is to be released with RSS Press in 2022.

Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller (b. 1984) is an independent curator with a curatorial practice concerned with new media, biomimicry, social structures, gender and performativity. She holds an MA in Visual Culture from Copenhagen University and an international MA in Curation from Aarhus University. Earlier she co-organized the exhibition space RØM and assisted the performance project VEGA|ARTS, as well as producing exhibitions at Kunsthal Aarhus and Holstebro Kunstmuseum. Currently she is working as a consultant on the sculpture park project 17 Goals on My Mind in Anneberg Kulturpark, Odsherred, Denmark.



Central to the exhibition project is the ambition to produce new knowledge generated through interdisciplinary artistic production and curatorial research, which is also extended by a public programme and symposium as well as, a forthcoming publication with RSS Press.

The public programme will function as an unfolding of and reflection on the topics revealed through the exhibition project with other invited professionals and will not be determined on solutions or answers. In this way, the entire project becomes a curatorial tool to generate new thinking, reflection, and curiosity rather than wanting to act as expert knowledge towards its audience.

During October, the project will be accompanied by a series of Tuesday Screenings, using different formats for talk and performance. The screenings talks will be lead by curator Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller, who will be introducing artists within the same research field but with diverse approaches; Anna Samsøe (DK), Anne Guro Larsmon (NO), Linnea Gad (SE), Maria Agureeva (RU) and Isabel Mallet (UK/US).

All updates for the Tuesday Screenings and further online events will be announced via our Instagram account: @68artinsitute


18 – 21

Opening of Biting the Nest, a group exhibition with Anna Samsøe (DK), Anne Guro Larsmon (NO) and Linnéa Gad (SE) investigating different artistic approaches to materiality and performativity in a Nordic context. This exhibition is the first part of the curatorial research project Above the Sky, Beneath the Ground with a second opening on 29 October.


14 – 16

Conversation with exhibiting artists Anna Samsøe and Anne Guro Larsmon in relation to the current exhibition Biting the Nest. Followed by a talk about politics of absence, dislocated objects, ecotones and watery bodies with Swedish researcher Jessica Backsell.


20 – 21

Screening of conversation with exhibiting artists Anna Samsøe and Anne Guro Larsmon in relation to the current group show Biting the Nest.


20 – 21

Online performance lecture screened from New York by exhibiting artist Linnéa Gad. This lecture will be focusing on her sculptural research project around the various forms limestone (calcium carbonate) can take, which directly relates to her work in the current group show Biting the Nest.


20 – 21

Online artist talk with visual artist Maria Agureeva in relation to research exhibition project Above the Sky, Beneath the Ground.


20 – 21

Online reading and artist talk with Isabel Mallet in relation to research behind the exhibition project Above the Sky, Beneath the Ground.


18 – 21

Opening of The Zombie Function, a solo exhibition by Iris Smeds (SE) working as a display of the family construct and the generational threats that lie within. During the opening there will be an artist talk with Iris Smeds and curator Rebekka Elisabeth Anker-Møller.


12 – 16

Symposium: One Creation, Many Realms at Thorvaldsens Museum. More info will follow.

Public Programme