Flickering green lights. That is the first thing that meets you when you enter Black Sesame, where two light boxes and a tatami mat form the foundation for a number of smaller installations, accompanied by an earthy scent which fills the room.
In her installation MANA, Astrid Myntekær makes use of a variety of media and materials: Spirulina algae, small pre-fabricated lightning fractals, 3D prints, laser lights, locally found bricks and objects, self-made concrete items, a projected hammer in action, a video of algae sex...
In a way similar to how the blue-green algae has managed to transform the whole atmosphere, creating life beyond themselves, so could human (self-) destructive behavior generate life for an ecosystem beyond ourselves - an ecosystem populated by organisms that are not carbon-based or depending upon oxygen.
In a time when hackers are the new revolutionaries - and there are signs that we could perhaps move completely away from biology and through the screen to a breathless virtual reality – Astrid Myntekær wants to hold on to and question the topics of biology, emotion and spirit.
The exhibition title Mana is referring to the Arabic word Manna, sometimes or archaically spelled mana, is an edible substance that, according to the Bible, God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert.
But MANA – is also a word in several Austronesian languages which has many meanings. In Polynesian culture, mana is a spiritual quality considered to have supernatural origin—a sacred impersonal force existing in the universe. Therefore to have mana is to have influence and authority, and efficacy—the power to perform in a given situation. This essential quality of mana is not limited to persons—peoples, governments, places and inanimate objects can possess mana. The term has also entered the Western academy, where scholars of anthropology and comparative religion have written about it extensively. Finally, modern fantasy fiction, computer and role-playing games have adopted mana as a term for magic points.
Astrid Myntekær (1985, DK) graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2012. Most recently, she has shown at Overgaden - Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen. Astrid is going directly from China to stay/join The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in N.Y