In the exhibition "A Fictional Character", Maria Bang Espersen represents the Danish mis-categorization of national costumes as an entrance to understandi which idealizations are taking place in Denmark today, now that the urge to categorize Danishness has re-appeared.
Espersens work focuses on the fictional stories that are constantly told through everyday objects; objects that present themselves as holding knowledge true to history while they are indeed fictional creations. By telling the expanded story of some objects, her work speaks to their damaging effects and contribution to the sociopolitical issues of today.
Nationalism, for instance, is often connected to a memory of a Utopia that never existed. It is a strategy to continue operating within the same hierarchies that have already existed for centuries. When the Danish upper and middle class in the 1800s and early 1900s idealized folk- or national costumes as well as the people in the countryside supposedly wearing them, for more than 100 years before it was “discovered” that Denmark had never had an actual national costume, it ends up becoming the fabricated stories that create a nations understanding of itself."
Udstillingen er støttet af Statens Kunstfond, Beckett-Fonden og 15. Juni Fonden