May 25. - July 5. 2020
At the Nivaagaard Art Collection lies a pile of a thousand fortune cookies. The installation is part of a worldwide exhibition of the 1990 work, “Untitled” (Fortune Cookie Corner), by the ground-breaking Cuban-American artist, Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996). A selection of 1,000 people from around the world have been invited to each install 240 to 1,000 fortune cookies in a place of their choice. The invitation comes from the Andrea Rosen Gallery and David Zwirner Gallery, New York, and the project takes place from the 25th of May until the 5th of July 2020.
One of those invited is Danish-Vietnamese artist, Danh Vo, and he has chosen the Nivaagaard Art Collection as his location. The exhibition opened around the world on the 25th of May and can be experienced in person at the Art Collection from the 26th of May, when the museum reopened.
In the exhibition project’s press release it was stated as such:
“Individuals are welcome to take from the work, and each pile is restored (with the same amount of fortune cookies at the time of initiation) halfway through the exhibition, the 14th of June. When the exhibition ends on the 5th of July, the leftover fortune cookies are no longer a part of the work.
The exhibition acknowledges this unique period in history and reflects the eternal relevance and flexibility that characterises Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ art. Like much of his work, “Untitled” (Fortune Cookie Corner) touches upon the possibility of immortality through resurrection, signified by the experience of loss embedded in the works.”
The contribution to “Untitled” (Fortune Cookie Corner) is to be seen independently from the exhibition which Danh Vo presents at the Art Collection from the summer of 2020. However, Felix Gonzalez-Torres is one of the artists that has meant a lot to Danh Vo, and Gonzalez-Torres will also be amongst the artists from Danh Vo’s personal collection, which he will present this summer. This is the initiation of a three-year collaboration between the international star artist, Danh Vo, and the Nivaagaard Art Collection, under the title: DANH VO PRESENTS.
As a child, Danh Vo and his family fled from Vietnam and ended up in Nivå. Today, he lives between Mexico and Berlin, and has the whole world as his stage. He has represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale and held a major solo exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York. He now returns to Nivå where, over the next few summers, he will present his favourite international artists who constitute his own art collection, at times supplemented with borrowed works. For there are indeed two exciting collectors from Nivå – namely, museum founder, Johannes Hage, and Danh Vo.
In the project, DANH VO PRESENTS, we meet Vo’s own favourite artists at the museum in Nivå over a number of years. This first summer, Danh Vo will gather works from his art collection in an installation created for the Nivaagaard Art Collection. The exhibition will be set up as soon as the coronavirus pandemic allows for artworks and artist to arrive, and is expected to open in the beginning of July.
Danh Vo’s work often refers to his past as a Vietnamese boat refugee which he intertwines with collective world history. Vo and his family fled on a homemade boat in 1979. They were rescued by a Danish Maersk ship and stayed at a refugee camp in Singapore before being granted asylum in Denmark in 1980. Here, the family lived in Nivå for many years, where Danh Vo went to the local school until he was kicked out of eighth grade. He has since graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (1998-2002) and the Städelschule in Frankfurt (2002-2005).
Vo’s art commonly revolves around the notion of one’s career and identity being created by great cultural and political factors beyond the individual’s control. His work often employs archaeological and cultural-historical elements in the form of recovered items and traces of the past, which have connections to large-scale historical events or small personal experiences. The collaboration between Vo and the Nivaagaard Art Collection — which he, at the time, visited with his class — thus signifies an extension of his artistic approach in which his own biography plays a central role.