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On Pia Arke
Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2007-3736
2017 (English)In: Afterall, ISSN 1465-4253, no 44, 10-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pia Arke’s work reminds Danes andEuropeans of a history they never got toknow, or were taught not to know, becauseit happened overseas. It began to be shownand discussed at the beginning of the 1990s,a period when notions of globalisationoffered new models for understandingthe dynamics of the world and exposedneglected historical and aesthetic issues.Among the most important of these issueswere the colonial legacies of WesternEuropean states. In this context, Pia Arke’sinterrogations of the suppressed past ofDenmark’s relationship with Greenlandbegan to resonate. The daughter of an Inuitseamstress and a Danish telegraphist, shewas born in 1958 in Scoresbysund, orIttoqqortoormiit, Denmark’s outermostcolonial settlement in northeast Greenland.She was from birth entangled in imperialprocesses that endowed her with split visionand multiple identities. These qualitiesanimated her art already in the 1980s, whenshe studied at Copenhagen’s Royal Academyof Fine Arts, and until her untimely deathat the age of 48, when she stood on thethreshold of international recognition.Pia Arke’s work displayed amesmerising blend of approaches: painting,photography, montage, video, performanceand installation art. Her violation of artisticgenres was carefully premeditated. A tastefor the absurdity of scientific collectingbrought her to examine undergroundvaults – paleontological and ethnographicarchives – stuffed with dusty specimens.She made a mockery of all attempts torepresent and classify the natives andnature of the Arctic. Solidarity with thesilenced victims of history prompted herto reinvent the art of photography, and tostrenuously engage with oral history. Shedeconstructed ethnography, photography,travel writing, history, landscape paintingand much more, and reassembled theirelements into multilayered and ambiguousmontages conceived in a spirit of criticalityand playfulness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chicago and London: The University of Chigago Press , 2017. no 44, 10-20 p.
Keyword [sv]
Pia Arke, Indigenous Art, Denmark, Postcolonial Art, Colonialism, Scoresbysund, Feminism, Greenlandic Art, Arctic, Nordic art, Arctic hysteria
National Category
Art History Visual Arts International Migration and Ethnic Relations Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-141969DOI: 10.1086/695509ISI: 000412897400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-141969DiVA: diva2:1149446
Available from: 2017-10-16 Created: 2017-10-16 Last updated: 2017-11-13Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Stefan

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REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and SocietyFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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