ARKEN's outdoor summer exhibition explores a world of constant change

23 June to 26 August 2018


ARKEN Museum of Modern Art Photo: Lars Skaaning

Precious Planet is the fourth exhibition in the annual series Art in Sunshine held every summer in the landscape surrounding ARKEN. In 2018 ARKEN has invited the artists Astrid Myntekær (b. 1985) and Amalie Smith (b. 1985) to join the conversation with site-specific artworks based on the landscape surrounding the museum.


A world of change

Climate change is high on the agenda for young contemporary artists and is also the focus of this year’s summer exhibition. ARKEN’s location in the midst of manmade landscape provides the ideal context to discuss themes of ecology and life today. The exhibition Precious Planet presents new site-specific works by the artists Astrid Myntekær (b. 1985) and Amalie Smith (b. 1985), creating an artistic space for reflection and opportunity to rethink our existence in the face of climate crisis.

We live on a wounded planet. Ecosystems change and species are being eradicated – biologists consider the sixth mass extinction on planet earth to be underway. This means a third of the species on Earth will disappear during the next decades. We live in the Anthropocene epoch – the human age – in which humankind has become such a destructive force of nature that we impact on the earth’s geological development. Our view of humankind as distinct from nature is currently challenged, because as philosopher and biologist Donna Haraway says: “To be one is always to become with many”. Haraway reminds us that our bodies are merely homes for the millions of microbes that constitute our DNA – that we ourselves are constantly changing, interconnected ecosystems.

Together, the two very different art works in the exhibition create a future scenario where everything is in flux. The works explore dystopian themes like ocean acidification, extreme weather conditions, and hybrid creatures in a world where radically new values for art and survival are at stake.

Astrid Myntekær


Astrid Myntekær (b. 1985) studied at Ho­chschule für bildende Künste (Hamburg) and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

Myntekær’s works operate at the intersection sci-fi, mysticism, and science. Her installations draw on a broad spectrum of materials, including light, masks, dust algae, plants, rush mats, and technology. Myntekær’s universe is like a sensory laboratory where contemporary issues are addressed through unforeseen connections that challenge our experience of reality.

In 2016 Astrid Myntekær was awarded ARKEN’s travel grant, and her work Mana Stash (2016) is part of the museum’s collection.

Amalie Smith

Amalie Smith (b. 1985) studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the Danish Academy of Creative Writing.

Amalie Smith investigates the relationship between narrative and phenomenology in books, films and installations. Smith probes the way we sense, comprehend, and categorise the world. She often works with montages in which the traces of different narratives and disciplines are intertwined in order to challenge and cross-fertilise each other.

Amalie Smith has won numerous awards, including the Honorary Award of the Niels Wessel Bagge Art Foundation (2016), the Crown Prince Couple’s Cultural Stardust Award (2015), the Charlottenborg Grant awarded by the Annie & Otto Johs. Detlefs’ Foundation (2015).


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