Nalusuunerup taarnerani, Exhibition work-in-progress

“Qasapi and the late Norsemen chief Uunngortoq”, Pictorlized Oral Legend, Kalâdlit Assilialiait. Wood Cut, 1860, Aron of Kangeq (1822- 1869) Hunter, Illustrator, Story Teller. 

Nalusuunerup taarnerani (In the darkness of ignorance)

The exhibition Nalusuunerup taarnerani (working title) is a work-in-progress.

Artists Inuk Silis Høegh, Julie Hardenberg, Martin Brandt Hansen, Inuuteq Storch, and curator Rickard Borgström takes Villads Villadsens canonical epos “Nalusuunerup taarnerani” (1965) as the starting point for the exhibition.

It´s a collection of epic narrative poetry, based on the oral legend that speaks about the encounter between Inuit and Norsemen in the middle ages in the southern parts of East Greenland.

Villadsens writing derives from a period where Greenland undergoes rapid changes, due to modernization- (industrialization) and danification- process.  In this transformational moment, a rise of national romantic literature followed. This is the tradition Villadsen inscribes himself. Here one finds a didactic disposition where the “elder” addresses the younger generations. Where oral stories of the past are manipulated to construct a conception of the culture of the nation´s spirit.

Villadens´s epic poetry has a dominant narrative and dramatic style, where the landscape and man have a symbiotic inner and external interaction. It alludes biblical motives, writings of Homer, Old Norse Sagas and more the form is inspired by J.L. Runeberg´s Fänrik Ståls sägener.

It´s a  central text in Greenland, as a part of the public consciousness. It provides potent layers and themes that are both specific local and universal.

The curatorial focus is to translate the narrative structure into an exhibition, including all of its complex and multilayered meanings.

The open approach explores the relationship between art, politics and cultural history through the lens of literature. The exhibition-making is sort of dramaturgy of ideas, staged in a discursive landscape, beyond the display and configurations of objects in the gallery space. Where one looks closer to the “epic”, “narration”, “oral”, “landscape” as conventions to be used for the staging of the exhibition.

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