By Tine Dolmer, Communication and Event Officer
James Rogers’ aim with the CONNECTIONS exhibition is to utilise art as a medium through which to stimulate discussion, bridge difference, and connect people – at a time when societies are physically and ideologically divided.
As an interdisciplinary historian of war and conflict, James Rogers works with artists to express understandings about the impact of crisis, catastrophe, and war on human society. He has worked with Steinunn Thórarinsdottir for the last five years and utilised her work on Borders, Armor, Cairns, and Fragments, to stimulate new interpretations of how people are connected, divided, mentally and physically fragmented, and personally effected by war, conflict, and crisis.
For the new CONNECTIONS exhibition 10 sculptures will be selected and arranged by Steinunn Thórarinsdottir around DIAS, Center for War Studies, the SDU campus and potentially in Odense city – this way connecting the university and the local community.
Today, the world is physically divided by COVID-19 and ideologically divided by left- and right-wing politics. We need only look to the pulling down of controversial statues and global climate change for pertinent examples of political and social division. Such division makes CONNECTIONS a timely and important sculpture exhibition, one that aims to connect people and stimulate discussion about what divides and unties us as human beings.James Rogers
The sculptures are life-size and will be placed on the ground so that students, staff and public visitors can physically engage with the works and become part of them. As James Rogers explains, the vulnerable and naked human encounters remind us of the frailty of the human condition and how we battle the challenges and insecurities in today´s world.
The sculptures are androgynous symbols of humanity, an every-person, that the viewer can relate to regardless of race and gender. They put forward questions about our perception of everyday life and how we relate to each other. In some of the sculptures, the figures are just partly visible as they inhabit abstract forms that could be seen as a kind of protection or armor from the outside world.
You can see more images on Steinunn Thórarinsdottir ‘s website
Photo: Arnaldur Halldórsson