FEARLESS (IN A DREAM), 2021
Solo exhibition supported by the Danish Arts Council
In her work for Fearless (in a dream), Mette Vangsgaard is inspired by Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, called in English, Polopilo’s Strife of Love in a Dream or The Dream of Poliphilus. The novel is said to be by Francesco Colonna, first published in 1499 in Venice, and it is a famous example of an incunable (a work of early print making). The story presents a mysterious arcane allegory of a romance in which the main protagonist, Poliphilo, pursues his love, Polia, through a mysterious dreamlike landscape filled by ornaments, flowers and orchards, and in his travels he meets monsters, gods, nymphs and strange plants on his way.
Mette Vangsgaard presents an exhibition of figurative works, all of which appear as part of a larger narrative about the world of dreams through Poliphilo’s journey. In two large works, Vangsgaard has combined the woodcut with the painting and textile on canvas in her characteristic collage technique. The two works presents us with a dark landscape that describes the night or the dream. In one of the works ’In the tall grass’ we meet a young man sleeping under a tree with long hangings branches.
The night in the dark landscapes are connected in the exhibition with light, the day, by spatial sculptures of hand-blown glass and ceramics. In an installation of glass sculptures with light, we see strange overripe fruits hanging from the tree with the long branches, and in small landscapes on the floor, we meet flowers and a monster of glazed ceramics, as well as nymphs and the plants Mouse Ears from Polihilo’s tale, created as glass carafes.
In Fearless (in a dream) Mette Vangsgaard continues to work with her fundamental interest in the culturally determined values, that our lives depend on, and which motivates our ideals, attitudes and actions. Especially in relation to our treatment of nature, which is connected to our daily lives, dreams, stories, history and myths.
Thus there is also the fine balance between a narrative – sometimes ethical voice in the her works, and the interest in the various possibilities and forms of expression in the different materials, for which we know Vangsgaard. Author George D. Painter has said: ’Reality itself is mysterious – perhaps our largest problem is that we think we need to understand and control everything. In relation to this, Vangsgaard’s new narratives move into a symbolic track that also contains non-everyday movements that deals with the human mind and dreams.