2 channel video (18 min), epoxy puddles, floor mopping robot, LED subtittles, hand carved wooden beams, polarising filtre. Dimensions variable.
Solo show at Den Frie, Copenhagen
Photos by David Stjernholm
“A thick layer of hygge blankets a hundred years of colonial history,” says a speaker’s voice – one of the many fragments of speech and visual layers comprising the video installation Half Hidden. The work centres on an abandoned cryolite mine in Ivittuut, Greenland and re-contextualises an amalgamation of archival materials.
Haaning examines technological development within a broader historical perspective on resource extraction, mining and imperialism. With a fascination for forgotten places and structures that persist invisibly as memories and the sediment of time, Haaning delves into the Danish National Archives’ telegrams and other materials from Ivittuut.
Denmark extracted the rare mineral cryolite in Greenland from the 1850s until 1986. A revolutionary ingredient in the mass production of aluminium, cryolite proved critical for the shipbuilding and aviation industries during World Wars I and II. The mineral was so important that Greenland’s cryolite mine was put under US administration until the end of WWII after Denmark was occupied in 1939. But this history has been virtually erased from the collective memory and consciousness of the Danes. Today the flooded mine stands as a scar in the Greenlandic landscape: a flat plane of water and an enormous geographical and symbolic void, concealing centuries of history.
Excerpt of video