Birke Gorm at Vestjyllands Kunstpavillon / Videbæk (Denmark)

Birke Gorm / girl anachronism

Curated by Paola Paleari and
Anne Zychalak Stolten

March 19th – April 5th, 2022

Vestjyllands Kunstpavillon, Henning Larsens Vej 3, 6920 Videbæk, Denmark



When thinking about pockets, one normally imagines small
containers in garments whose use is often automatic and rarely noticed. That
pockets throughout history have had an impact on men and women’s independence
in society is probably not the first thought that occurs. Nevertheless, pockets
have historically reinforced women’s dependence on men – a phenomenon of which
we still see traces today. Despite pockets having been an incorporated part of
Western menswear, it wasn’t until much later that they were introduced to
women, first as the ‘tie-on pocket’ – a pouch tied around the waist with a
string, forerunner of the handbag, which eventually enabled women to engage in
society carrying their own


The pocket and the container as a concept are significant themes
in Birke Gorm’s solo exhibition girl
at Vestjyllands Kunstpavillon. With hand-sewn human-sized
figures insinuating the anthropomorphic form, the exhibition envisions the
female body as a vessel, an aggregator, a reproductive device, and relating to


The figures are produced through craft techniques such as
knitting, weaving and sewing, traditionally executed by women in a domestic

What characterizes Gorm’s choice of materials is their lack of
current economic value. Some of them are materials from the past, such as the
burlap sack, which today stands as a dusty symbol of trade and preservation in
agriculture. Other materials are leftovers, including fabric remnants, metal
found on the street, various elements collected in nature and recycled paper
spun into yarn. 


The figures appear as holders filled
to the brim, bearing various gender-historical and material references, while
at the same time insistently carrying valuable belongings close to them. They
bring the past to the present through Gorm’s knowledgeable use of materials,
highlighting gender issues in society whose roots are still visible today.
Unwavering, striking, yet seemingly well-equipped, her figures are ready for

The exhibition is supported by The Danish
Arts Foundation. The VK contemporary art program 2021-2022 is curated by Paola
Paleari and Anne Zychalak Stolten and supported by Det Obelske Familiefond and
The Danish Arts Foundation.


Photographer: Jacob Friis-Holm Nielsen