Morten Dysgaard

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Morten Dysgaard Danish artist Morten Dysgaard lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark and he was ikono's artist of the month in August 2011. Dysgaard’s work has been exhibited worldwide in galleries, museums as well as film festivals. Since he graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark, the cinematographic narrative technique has been Dysgaard’s preferred mode of expres-sion, used to investigate how images and signs are instrumental in creating our cultural feelings of identity. His work has undertones of objectfetishism, thus interestingly commenting on the way we often cling to identity markers as expressed in certain cultural symbols, objects and attributes. The people we meet in Dysgaard’s films are often highly stereotyped in their outward expressions; but despite the obvious in the superficial description of these characters, it is through these very representations that the viewer is forced to think beyond the iconographic signs of the image. And this provokes as well as challenges the understanding of our present age. Dysgaard’s film works make us reflect on the new and historical realities of globalization, what they mean to us as national individuals and as citizens of the world in this iconographic theatre we like to call our reality.

On Air: Morten Dysgaard

The ikono On Air Festival is showing the following films by Morten Dysgaard: - Detectives on the Loose (2007) - A room full of people (2009) How do we represent forms of identity that exist across national frontiers? Dysgaard work as an artist is to explore the limits of personal categorization and of personally lived existence. “A room full of people” thus portrays an individual in which the personal history transcends itself in individuals who are not only single individuals but also two and more others. Dysgaard wants to question the media created images. As an artist Dysgaard try to do so by writing over, rewriting and examining the significance of the gaze in establishing cultural identity. He wants to present that which the eye does not immediately see. That which the eye neglects to see. - The presence of another door (2007) Morten Dysgaard Curator Liberty Peterson wrote: "The presence of another door tells the narrative of a man from Pakistan and a man from America, who are not able to see each other, despite living in the same room. Whether or not it’s the same or two culturally distinctive persons, is up to the viewer to decide. As with many of Dysgaard’s works, The presence of another door starts by presenting the viewer with their expected reality, as they know it, before breaking it; shattering the viewer’s expectations and highlighting issues of cultural ignorance." - A portrait of eruption (2009) “A portrait in eruption” thus portrays an individual in which the personal history transcends itself in individuals who are not only single individuals but also two and more others. Dysgaard wants to question the media created images. As an artist Dysgaard try to do so by writing over, rewriting and examining the significance of the gaze in establishing cultural identity. He wants to present that which the eye does not immediately see. That which the eye neglects to see. Curator Liberty Peterson wrote: "The language of Dysgaard’s films and his deconstruction of identity and its representation systems are reminiscent of the Ingmar Bergman film Persona, in which the two main characters switch personalities, resulting in the differences between the characters becoming blurred and displaced. Dysgaard’s recent works specifically explore the distinctions between the Middle East and West, playing with the viewer’s perception by interchanging characters and blurring the focus of what is considered to be the hereditary characteristics of two contrasting cultures."

Artist Statement

My work as an artist is to research and explore how Hollywood demonized Arabs, Mexicans and other "minorities". I have seen around 150 films from film history during the past couple of years, which in one way or another glorifies the white race at the expense of "the other". My work is based on the Western propaganda machine that many of the people apparently tend not to see; the film industry. Arabs for instance has become a myth - a caricature in the style of the Jews under Nazi propaganda. And this myth has become our "reality". It is this kind of reality I examine and play with in my film- and poster works. I do this by producing works that opens up and displaces the psychological and physical space between cultural identities, national boundaries and attributes such as the spoken language.

Bio

Education 1999-2006 Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark. 1999-1998 Manuscript and film development at the media production department in Ballerup, Denmark. Awards and grants The Danish Arts Council, 2007 The Danish Arts Foundation, 2007 Den Hielmstierne-Rosencroneske Stiftelse, 2007 The Danish Arts Council, The eye in the door, 2007 Københavns Billedkunstudvalg, Once the came is set-up, grant, 2007 The Danish International Arts Council, 2006 The Danish Arts Council, 2006 Sleipnir, grant, 2006 Danish Playwrights' and Screenwriters' Guild, grant, 2006 Danish Film Directors, grant, 2006 Ragnvald & Ida Blix’ Fond, grant, 2006 Billedhug., prof. Gottfred Eickhoff og Hustru, Maleren Gerda Eickhoffs Fond, grant, 2006 Københavns Billedkunstudvalg, Timebandits, grant, 2005 The Danish arts council, Timebandits, 2005 Ingeniør Ernst B. Sunds Fond, Timebandits, grant, 2005 Montana, Timebandits, grant, 2005 Artist-in-residency 2006 Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, San Fransisco, CA

Links

- Morten Dysgaard: Blog / Homepage - Morten Dysgaard on Facebook - Field Berlin

Videos

Two feet in one shoe The door of the law Agent of faces The artwork “Agent of Faces” is a study in the staging of the white race and its image. “Agent of Faces” refers to and is based on two movies, Hidalgo from 2004 and Mulholland Drive from 2001, which each in its own way stage the white race at the expense of the “other”.