Aleksandra Mir

Interview with Aleksandra Mir

By Anne Mikel Jensen
2012 Spring Exhibition Exhibition broshure, Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, February 2012

Founded in 1857 the Spring Exhibition at Charlottenborg is one of the most important open juried exhibitions in Europe. The exhibition takes place from 24 February - 6 May with the opening on 23 February, 19.00-22.00. 70 artists has been selected, including 66 debutants and at total of 94 works. The oldest artist was born in 1949 and the youngest in 1990. The jury for the 2012 edition are Aleksandra Mir (Chair), Ben & Sebastian, Dorothee Kirch, Henrik Vibskov and Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen.

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Anne Mikel Jensen: What tendencies do you think was evident in this year's submissions?

Aleksandra Mir: I was surprised to see so many people from faraway places applying. My own preconceptions were that this was a very local show. It is all thanks to the internet of course as the online application process gives many more artist a fair chance, no matter of geographical location. The flip side of that is my discovery of the online artist who does not even have to get out of bed to create a work but downloads found footage from Youtube, edits it on a laptop and submits it online. We had examples of brilliant works of art made that way, and others, not so brilliant, of course. But the impact of the internet can not be ignored, it permeats everything today, even the oil paintings you see in the show were submitted, and invited, on the basis of jpegs.

What has been important regarding the selection process for you as the chair of the jury?

The energy in the jury was fantastic, an intense but really fun week. I hope we managed to strike a good balance between ours sometimes very different opinions.

Why do you think it is important to have juried exhibitions?

Apart from tradition it is simply yet another way of making exhibitions, just another valid breed in the stable that can allow more people in. I was surprised to see artists applying from Africa, some that are now in the show thanks to their personal initiative to inform us of their existence. Had they waited for a Danish curator to come around and discover them, contact might never have occurred. The juried exhibition simply gives a great range of artist an incentive to introduce themselves to the public. The jury itself can only act as a coarse filter for that. What should be felt in a show like this is the artists will, readiness and power to strike out on their own.