'MILL' / Sofie Winther
8 December - 6 January, 2024
Copenhagen 2200 Denmark
Matteo Cantarella is pleased to present MILL, a solo exhibition by Danish artist Sofie Winther. Comprising a multi-part installation of hyper-functional objects, the exhibition furthers Winther’s interest in the forms of dependence that determine relationships between individual and systems. With MILL, Winther explores how the relations of reciprocity, control and discipline that we enter into, simultaneously embody oppressive structures and fundamental existential necessities.
In her ongoing work, which spans sculpture, installation and performance, Winther questions her environment from a position between autonomy and dependence, seeking to unveil the pervasive matrix of the cultural, political and environmental implications that are ingrained in our memory and presentness. Characteristic of her formal language is the use of functional elements that, in their ubiquitous forms, are often experienced in light of their perceived roles of discipline and control - an array of materials which Winther pulls from the aesthetics of public furnishings, and material encounters of the everyday.
Outstretched across the central wall is a rectilinear large whiteboard, which contemplatively hangs above the floor space. Conventionally found in educational settings, whiteboards are oftentimes associated with one’s early encounters with formalised discipline and authority. Bringing to the fore its repressive character, Winther points at how the production of subjectivity is intertwined with those forms that shape our social and spatial awareness, hinting at the ontological influence that such functional structures inherently hold on our desire and perceived agency. In its proximity, other ordinary objects from the domain of our public living tell us stories of production, efficiency and control. At once activated and impractical, these sculptures now exert a tenuous strength, hanging at viewer’s arm’s length where no discernible utility or subjection can be found. A child mannequin, clad in a meticulously assembled vest, glances the scene in a solitary and pensive stance.
To subvert the idea that the logic behind these systems is unassailable, Winther intuitively introduces unexpected elements in the works. On a closer look, one catches scattered trails of plastic ants, some descending the walls, some peaking from an industrial hand towel dispenser, others, instead, forming an endless circle across the floor space. Winther does not presupposes that an unequivocally common association exists simply in the convergence of these elements. Through discontinuity, she enables new resonances, and reasserts connections between different images which the viewer is ultimately relied upon to complete. With its poetic implications, MILL alludes at the possibility of a negation, change, and disobedience, a deviation to the substance of the everyday. What does it take one minuscule ant to unwind the spiral?
Sofie Winther (b. 1991, Denmark) is a Danish artist living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark. Winther graduated with an MFA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (2023) in Copenhagen, Denmark and holds a BFA from Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2018) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Her work has been exhibited at Den Frie Udstillingsbygning (Copenhagen, Denmark), Inter.pblc (Copenhagen, Denmark) and at Art Hub Copenhagen, among others. Winther is the recipient of the 2023 15. Juni Fonden’s, Poul Erik Bech Fonden’s, Birgit Vibeke Tofts Mindefond’s and of Ragnvald & Ida Blix’ Fond’s honorary awards.