This summer’s outdoor exhibition explores the relationship between mankind and nature.

3 June to 17 September 2017


Visualization of Tue Greenfort’s work for NATURE (RE)TURNS, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art 2017

ARKEN has invited the two internationally recognized artists Nanna Debois Buhl (b. 1975) and Tue Greenfort (b.1973) to create new, site-specific works for The Art Island. NATURE (RE)TURNS explores the relationship between mankind and nature. The exhibition will look in a variety of ways at the forces of nature and mankind’s impact on the planet by asking questions such as “What is ‘natural’ nature?” and “How are mankind and nature interrelated?”

The Anthropocene

The starting point for NATURE (RE)TURNS is the idea of the anthropocene – the name given to a new geo­lo­gical epoch in which the human imprint on the planet has become so massive that it will be possible in future to read it off in the geological strata. We live at a time when plastic is accu­mu­­lating in the oceans, manmade climatic change is accelerating and biodiversity on land and in the oceans is diminishing. In the anthropocene age, humanity itself has become a force of nature with dire consequences for its own future and that of the planet. Deeply rooted as we are in our own modern lifestyle, it can be easy to forget that we human beings are in fact involved in a complex network of animals, bacteria and plants. In this perspective it perhaps no longer makes sense to distinguish between culture and nature.

The works in the exhibition explore how art can help us to experience the changes in our natural surroun­dings. How do we affect nature, and how does nature affects us?NATURE (RE)TURNS takes place on The Art Island, which opened in 2015. The landscape around ARKEN has been artificially laid out, and is thus an anthropocene landscape. The Art Island is therefore an excellent setting for the exploration of how we humans understand nature, and where the bor­der­line between nature and culture goes.

The exhibition has been developed in collaboration with the professor of anthropology Nils Bubandt and is part of the exhibition series Art in Sunshine that ARKEN started up in 2015.


NATURE (RE)TURNS takes place on the Art Island, at Ishøj Library and at DIAS (Digital Interactive Art Space) in Vallensbæk. ARKEN, in collaboration with DIAS, is screening video works by Nanna Debois Buhl and Tue Greenfort at Vallensbæk Station, just one stop from Ishøj on the A train.  The works can be seen in the station area from June 3rd-August 6th. At Ishøj Library an exhibition satellite runs from June 3rd-September 17th. Ishøj Library is located in the shopping centre by Ishøj Station.

The exhibition is supported by



Nanna Debois Buhl, intervals and forms of stones of stars, 2017. Cameraless photograph of insect from The ARKEN Island based on William Henry Fox Talbot’s micrography technique

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