Chatter 'round the pond

13.01 - 12.02 2023

The exhibition Chatter 'round the pond is a group show with artists ASMA, Frederik Exner, Lars Worm and Olivia Rode Hvass.

”The rumour has it, that you lived in the forest for a long time before you came here. You lived of what you found under the bark of the trees. You stuffed your face with soil.”

- Rasmus Daugbjerg, The Rumour
Small talk, burbling, prattling, chatting, gossiping. A Danish saying goes about like this: Beloved child has many names – and, I would add, many faces, human and more-than-human. Maybe the child is a queer child, a cyborg, neither man nor woman, animal or machine, but something indefinable in between. The Marxist philosopher Silvia Federici has been interested in how the English word gossip has developed through time with the beginning of the witch hunt processes; etymologically, the word originally referred to a godmother, a friend or a female confidante, but the meaning of the word changed with the increasingly dominating patriarchal structures in Europe in the 1600s and the frequent persecution of especially women or queer people from the lower classes. Gradually the word instead became associated with women’s lazy, unproductive and conspiratorial chatter as a means to devaluate the woman in this historical context. Today the meaning of the word gossip as the act of telling rumours is still firmly cemented into the English language. In the word chatter some of the same matters are hidden; with the connection between chatter and gossip the feminine is connected to the more-than-human, in a devaluation of both. Words and meanings are sticky. To prattle on can be understood as having an informal conversation, to jabber away without thinking – without using your so-called intellect. It is said that women do chatter, the same is said about birds.

In a capitalistsociety where productivity, the always-busy bee, is applauded, everything that isn’tseen as productive from the context of the market economy or resists the structures that keep capitalism going, is devaluated. And that is exactly why it can also be an act of resistance to be lost in your own thoughts around the pond, alone or with others, to talk about everything or nothing, to conspire, breathe together, to chatter like birds or women or something in between.

In ‘Chatter ‘round the pond’ the outcasts of the village get a chance to speak in a collectively established space, where they speak together, often in many tongues, acrossthe differencesthey constitute – maybe what lives in the pond will also climb to land to take part. The exhibition is a space where a shift in or a questioning of established norms can take place. The artworks chat unproductively and speculatively with each other and with the viewer, they could be a place of refuge, a cooling edge of the woods, where you can step in to get a break from the exhaustion and cultivation of scarcity that constitute late capitalism. What gathers the artists in ‘Chatter ‘round the pond’ around the pond is their interest in the sculptural and its aspect of performativity. An interest in the expansive space, materiality and liveliness of mythology. Pastel and Goth, the ornamental and the dark, the things that stick out. An urge to mix soft materials with hard. Their practices reach back in time but at the same time into the future to create what Donna Haraway calls a “thick now”.

The works by Frederik Exner are marked by an interest for the ritual and the mythological, to seek the boundaries between different life forms, be- tween the human and more-than-human. Olivia Rode Hvass’ art is interested in the encounters between the country and the city, between myths and people, and through installation environments and charming tapestries, she pulls threads to both medieval traditions and modern industry. ASMA's practice is on a constant move on the edge of different worlds, between the real and the imaginative, in their transformation of what is, a renegotiation of symbols and archetypes. Lars Worm seeks the materials available around him in daily life to create art works that play with the illustrative and the surreal and which both contain humor and tenderness. This is how these artists create a heterogeneous and still relating, chatting community.

Text by Andrea Fjordside Pontoppidan
Poster by Natal Zaks The exhibition is kindly supported by the 15 Juni Fonden, The Obel Family Foundation and Aarhus Municipality.


ASMA is an artist duo based in Mexico City, formed by Matias Ar mendaris (Ecuador b. 1990) and Hanya Beliá (México b. 1994). Their work uses allegorical figures and architectural spaces exploring formal interrelations between painterly and sculptural expressions. They em ploy fictional narratives which include forms of nature interwoven with psychoaffective contemporary landscapes. As a result of a collaborative process the work focuses on hybrid and polluted forms both in a material and conceptual nature. ASMA’s recent projects include “Vain Kisses to the Source” a solo exhibi tion at Deli Gallery in New York, US; “Vermin Gloom” a solo exhibition at Project Pangeé, Montreal, US; a participation in “OTRXS MUNDXS” a group exhibition at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, MX; “Anima Mundi” a group exhibition presented as part of Manifesta 13, Marseille, FR; “Ja nus” a solo exhibition at Embajada, San Juan, PR; “Half Blood Princess” a solo exhibition at PEANA, Monterrey, MX; “Blossoming Carcass” at Make Room, Los Angeles, US.

Frederik Exner

The work of Frederik Exner (b. 1991, Aarhus) is an invitation into an im agery that has an apparently mythological logic, populated by ambiguous creatures often with both prey and predators’ features. His world is finely constructed, detailed and defined; it does not belong to humans and ren ders the strange familiar and the familiar strange. Frederik Exner obtained his BFA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 2019 before moving to Paris, and in 2022, he ob tained his second BFA (DNA) at l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris where he is currently studying. Frederik Exner’s work has recently been shown in Denmark (Augstiana, Augustenborg, 2022; Gether Contemporary, 2022), in Germany (Studio for Artistic Research, Düsseldorph, 2022) and in France (Villa Belleville, Paris, 2021; La Chapelle de Clairefontaine, Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, 2022 ; Fondation Pernod Ricard, Paris, 2022).

Lars Worm

Lars Worm’s artistic production mainly consists of sculpture, objects and paintings. He works in a wide variety of materials, expression and content, and the processing is both rough, clunky, home-made and fab ulating. The works appear organic and tactile and Lars Worm generally pursues to maintain a kind of existential, almost ecological consciousness and spirit throughout his oeuvre. There is often a certain whimsicality or humor present, which means that the works often appear subtle and sometimes understated, but at the same time are sufficiently precise, po etic and surprising.

Olivia Rode Hvass

Olivia Rode Hvass is a visual artist who graduated with a BA from the Jut land Academy of Fine Arts in 2021 and a masterclass with a large schol arship in TC2 weaving with Professor Corrie van Eijk-Doktor, Drachten NL. Rode Hvass works in an installatory and sculptural crossfield be tween textile and drawing. In recent years, she has expanded her me tier to tapestries, where she combines her interest in cartoon and sketch drawing with craftsmanship in digital weaving. Her work unfolds out of an interest in plants, people and identity building in relation to the myths, emotions, and environment we are brought up with and brought up by. Rode Hvass’ work has a subtle underlying humor which invites the viewer inside.

Andrea Fjordside Pontoppidan

Andrea Fjordside Pontoppidan is a writer, editor, curator and critic. She works in the intersection between art, literature, critical feminist theory and practices and policies centered around agriculture, where she exam ines ways of understanding relationships and entanglements between the human and the more-than-human in the light of the destruction of land, and of ecosystems in general, which characterizes our neoliberal, capital ist contemporary. Fjordside Pontoppidan is engaged in various farming communities, where she examines what it means to work with the land and plants as partners in building communities. Fjordside Pontoppidan’s point of view is interdisciplinary, and she works with art and literature with a special interest in the potential of ecocriticism nourished by in tersectional and feminist perspectives. This work also extends far into her work as a publisher at the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, an experimental curatorial platform and micro-publishing house that pub lishes texts and facilitates conversations around planetary and local crisis and opportunities for resistance in an expanded field of science, art and activism.