Breaker of Horses
Pernille Lystlund Matzen and Nanna Rebekka
June 16 — July 30, 2018
Reception Friday, June 15, 7:00 PM
Curated by Denise Ryner

An easily overlooked T-junction in Copenhagen’s Sydhavn district is the location of a dramatic statue. In the midst of everyday urban space rises a bronze sculpture of a young man who is about to tame two unruly horses. The essay film Breaker of Horses delves into the bronze sculpture and follows the hidden stories that are contained in the cast. This leads us back to the genesis of the sculpture in an antique Greek myth, to a Belgian Africa museum and deep into Europe’s colonial past. With formal nods to contemporary video artists such as Camille Henrot and Hito Steyerl, Breaker of Horses is an overheated information flow of images, digital productions and archive material. The visual abundance is coloured by a soundtrack that alternately seethes with synthetic sound effects and detached bits of songs about the statue and its history. The film traces the copper material in the bronze sculpture back to the Congo, where extraction of copper through forced labour and slavelike conditions for the Congolese comprised one of the economical foundations for the Belgian King Leopold’s empire. Solidly placed in the era of today, Breaker of Horses is a video work that turns to the past.

Nanna Rebekka is an independent filmmaker based in Copenhagen. Her work lies within the realm of hybrid fiction, documentary and video art. She has studied filmmaking at Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media, University of Washington and at School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, York University. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Visual Culture at University of Copenhagen. She is a former member of MIX Copenhagen LGBTQ Film Festival.

Pernille Lystlund Matzen is an independent writer and filmmaker currently living in Copenhagen. Her work concentrates on new documentary forms, video art and essayistic modes of filmmaking. She holds a master’s degree in Art History and Modern Culture from Columbia University, Universität der Kunste, Berlin, and Copenhagen University. She currently works as an art critic at the Danish newspaper Information.

Concurrent with Breaker of Horses is the exhibition Crania by Robin Peck, curated by David MacWilliam.

Image: still from Breaker of Horses, courtesy of the artists.

The Or Gallery acknowledges its presence on unceded xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.

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Or Gallery

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