Danceur, 2020, Felt, petroleum jelly, nylon, 300 x 150 x 150 cm.

Emma Bernhard »A Ballet. An Army«

Mexico City , April 27, 2021 - May 15, 2021

A Ballet. An Army is the first solo exhibition in Mexico City of the Swedish artist Emma Bernhard, in which she presents a new body of works, that includes mixed media paintings and sculptures. Emma Bernhard's work likes to challenge the societal idea of value, bestowing value on objects and recycled materials not conventionally considered so by contextualizing them, giving them a story, and in a certain sense, a purpose. This contextualization allows her work to hold meaning in their own right but makes their existence contingent on that of the others. She often personifies her works, describing these inanimate objects as things in need of care, in an expression of empathy for cast aside materials.

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A ballet.

An ensemble.
Together they dance. They are not real dancers. They struggle. Not made of the finest materials they have to fake their way through the movements. They are stiff and more often than not they end up failing.
I collect materials. Often things that other ś don’t want. Sometimes I find them and sometimes I buy them if they look lonely. I put the sculptures together like collages, they find themselves a story, a context, and maybe a purpose. Nothing grand, one ś purpose most often isn't.
These ones are dancers. They dance together in uncoordinated moves. In silence. The wall pieces are not ready yet, waiting for their turn. It takes time to become a dancer. Yet everyone can dance.
The sculptures are made of plaster, felt, fat, nylon tubes. Nothing special. Faking the special. But not being special doesn't mean anything.
They are not ready to perform. But one never is.

Emma Bernhard (Stockholm, 1981) currently lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. She received a BA in philosophy at the St. Louis University, Madrid (2002-2005), and a BA in Sculpture at the London University of Arts, London (2006-2009). In 2009 Emma Bernhard first presented her works in a selected exhibition by Soyara Rodriguez in London. Thereafter, she participated in various exhibitions, including spring exhibitions at the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark (2010) and Dover Art Center, United Kingdom (2010), and a solo exhibition “Resistance, Tolerance, Power” at Belenius/Nordenhake, Sweden (2015). In 2015 she completed an artist residency at the NARS Foundation in New York. Recent significant participation includes the solo exhibition “Failed Geometry” at Galerie Erik Nordenhake, Sweden (2017) and a group exhibition with Johanna Karlsson at Galerie Arnstedt Östra Karup, Sverige (2018). In 2020 she exhibited at the Gallery Bjorn and Gundorph, Denmark, and participate in the group exhibition “Signature Women” at the Artipelag, Sweden (2020).

Installation view.

Danceur, 2020, Felt, petroleum jelly, nylon, 300 x 150 x 150 cm.

Danceur, 2020, Felt, petroleum jelly, nylon, 300 x 150 x 150 cm.

Danceur, 2020, detail.

Installation view.

Danceur, 2020, Felt, petroleum jelly, nylon, 300 x 100 x 15 cm.

Installation view.

Dancer, 2020, Felt, plaster, nylon, 300 x 120 x 60 cm.

Dancer, 2020, detail.

Installation view.

Installation view.

Dancer, 2020, Felt, plaster, steel, 210 x 40 x 40 cm.

Dancer, 2020, Felt, plaster, steel, 210 x 40 x 40 cm.

Dancer, 2020, detail.

Soliders. Dancers, 2021, Felt, acrylic, wool, 160 x 70 x 30 cm.

Untitled (dancer) 2020, Acrylic on wool, 120 x 190 cm.

Untitled (dancer) 2020, Acrylic on wool, 190 x 120 cm.

Untitled (dancer) 2020, Acrylic and oil on wool, 190 x 120 cm.

Untitled (dancer) 2020, Acrylic on wool, 190 x 120 cm.