Decembers – revisited
Opening: Friday June 7th, 20.00
Open: June 8th – 9th, 2 – 5 PM
The exhibition Decembers – revisited at Holodeck presents the two video works Decembers – a round table conversation and Decembers – narrating history. The video works juxtaposes images from an official history and true stories told by women. The work centres on two protests that happened in December. The first was brutally put down by the Polish People’s Army and the Citizen’s Militia – at least 42 people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded – and the latter event in 1981 marked the beginning of a period of martial law. Both incidents have become familiar through their documentation in thousands of photographs revealing the ensuing street fights.
The video ‘Decembers – a round table conversation’ is developed in collaboration with a group of women who participated in literary workshops at the University of the Third Age. Here the women recall forgotten stories and fragmentary memories of everyday life. The project revolves around themes of memory, stigmatisation and the construction of history.
The film production is structured around the personal narratives of the women and their memories of times when they had no voice in the public realm. Their views on the two December strikes of 1970 and 1981 are also addressed.
These narratives are sometimes funny and sometimes dramatic, and being told from a female and largely missing perspective, they offer a re-telling of a particular element of the historical narrative.
The second video work in the exhibition is the montage film Decembers – narrating history, which is a black/white film made of archival images from the archive of the European Center for Solidarity in Gdansk. The film shines a light on the discarded stories of everyday life and emphasizes their role in the fabric of history. The work is an attempt to make the private stories of those events more prominent, to complete the official image of history.
Both video works were commissioned by Laznia – Centre for Cotemporary Art in Gdansk and developed in a Polish context in 2012. The project has been supported in part by the Danish Cultural Institute in Warsaw, the Danish Arts Council Committee for Visual Arts, The Danish Arts Foundation, European Centre for Solidarity and Nordic culture point.
Maj Hasager is a Danish artist currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She studied photography and fine art in Denmark, Sweden and the UK, earning an MFA from Malmö Art Academy, Sweden in 2008. Her work deals with power structures, identity, memory, the construction of history, and architecture, looking at how these interlinked phenomena are interpreted and represented culturally and spatially. Her artistic approach is research-based and interdisciplinary, and she works predominantly with text, sound, video and photography. She has exhibited her work internationally in events and institutions such as, Past Upon Past, Red Barn Photo Gallery, Belfast, Ireland (2013), Decembers, LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk, Poland (2012), Liverpool Biennial, UK (2010), Between Here and Somewhere Else, al-Hoash, al-Kahf gallery and Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah, Palestine (2010), The Other Shadow of the City, al-Hoash, Jerusalem (2009), Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen (2009), Guangzhou Triennial, China (2008), A Public Affair, Gallery 21, Malmö (2008), LOOP Film festival, Barcelona, Spain (2008), EMERGED Space, Glasgow, Scotland (2007), and KargART festival in Istanbul, Turkey (2007). She has been awarded grants in support of her work from the Danish Arts Council, The Danish Arts Foundation, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (Beirut, Lebanon), ArtSchool Palestine, Danish Centre for Culture and Development and the Danish Arts Agency. She is the programme director of Critical and Pedagogical studies at Malmö Art Academy, and is a guest lecturer at the International Academy of Art – Palestine, Dar al-Kalima College, Bethlehem and University of Ulster, Belfast.