Exhibition: 27.9. - 17.11. 2013
This exhibition explores the formation of identity in the young, by having children assume a sex or nationality other than their own. Together with the actor Morten Nielsen, Henrik Saxgren has investigated and challenged ideas of identity and gender.
In six workshops, 130 children from various Class 6s (average age 11 to 12 years) – with the assistance of professional make-up artists – were given the opportunity to assume another ethnic or sexual identity. The result is a series of remarkable pictures and videos which raise the question of whether it is even possible to identify people from their skin colour and sex.
More than Greasepaint
An Arab does not become a Dane by being given blonde hair, nor does a Dane become an African by being made-up black. But the children involved had to do more than just having themselves made-up, they were also to “live their new identity”. The six workshops allowed time to play with the idea and explore whether there is even such a thing as an ethnic identity, based on language and skin colour.
The pictures which have come out of the project seem to revolve around “the indeterminable identity” – the state that emerges when an old identity is dissolving but before a new one coalesces. It is precisely this state which Henrik Saxgren has managed to capture in his metre-square portraits and in his videos.