The Opening Day

It snowed again last night. I wake up a balcony full of snow, just like the good old days last month. You kidding me, Greenland? Happy Exhibition Opening Day to me! You are not a good friend.

So today is the day I do my two-day pop-up exhibition here. I'll be doing it at Holms Hus, the same abandoned house I've used before. I spent yesterday putting my exhibition up, today I can only hope that the nails have not fallen off and that the old walls have not rejected all the tape I put there. It could be that it's a disaster when I go there in a few hours but that's nothing new, to be honest. The house is quite cold and begins to feel a little moldy if you spend a lot of hours there, but I guess I'll deal. I'm the one who chose it after all. I'm used to spending maybe an hour in abandoned houses, I didn't realize what it's like when you're spending closer to 10 hours there. But never mind that.

I'm a little nervous. I could be more, but I guess I'm repressing it somewhere (under all the valium). This is definitely a pop-up, it's only bits and pieces of what I've done. I still have a lot of parts of this project to finish actually, but I'm trying not to think about that either because it will just make me panic and I don't have time for that.

As my subject is very female-centric and almost aggressively feminist, I'm a bit afraid of how people might react. I'm also a bit afraid of how I will react to that. People have the right to their ideas and thoughts but also, I should be able to defend myself and stand behind my work, I guess. I'm just not sure I'm able to do that. I doubt myself and my work all the time. I feel I'm not a real artist, I feel I'm not deep enough, I feel horrible despair that I will always be mediocre. I know it's not good and I know I shouldn't say it out loud. People with good self-esteem shouldn't talk like that. Well, people with good self-esteem can do what they want. I am not one of those people.

There's another person staying at the museum now, a curator / artist David Norman from the US. He's doing a project about Pia Arke, a Danish Greenlandic artist. Listening to his talks and browsing books about Arke, I feel even more strongly conflicted about what I'm doing with Greenlandic women, as a white female artist. It's strange, in a way I feel like I'm the oppressor and possibly can't understand what's going on in this country. In another way, I feel angry that because I happen to be white, I'm sucked into being something that Denmark represents here and what countries like the US represent in the whole world. Okay, I'm white, but my ancestors came from God knows where, probably from some little tribe in Russia and I'm from a country that was owned by Russia, Sweden and even Denmark until about a 100 years ago. Of course I can pass for a white person and can pass for an American, but I've been looking at my work from the perspective of women in art and pop culture who were always the Other. Who were always the supporting character in a man's story. That's my point of view but in here, I might be forced being a white colonialist, so to speak.

Pia Arke's work dealt a lot with how Greenlandic women were sexualized and exoticized by Europeans. Seeing Greenlandic women dressed as crows or dancing in the snow in white in my photos, I fear it will come across as me doing that, putting Greenlandic women in mythical situations and stereotypes. But my intention was to kind of imagine what mythical revenge might look like in here. Like what if there were vengeful tupilaks or ghosts or spirits here who would come after rapists? I think there should be stuff like that. Greenlandic people have a lot of faith in some of their old myths and I'm disturbed by the fact there doesn't seem to be anything that stands up against the injustices suffered by women. Because those injustices are really fucking messed up and horrible. So I wanted to imagine spirits who'd take revenge on men hurting women. I wanted to imagine tupilaks and qivittoqs from a place of revenge and even freedom. But who knows if it shines through or if that's an appropriate thing to try to create. I guess I can't know, because I'm not a Greenlander. It's frustrating but also understandable so all I can do is stand there, kind of apologetic and be like, sorry shabby artwork lol!

It's also possible I'm overreacting. Who knows. I've met a lot of really lovely women here and I hope they will enjoy my exhibition and get something out of it. If I can help one person feel something or maybe move on from abuse or difficult experiences, I guess that's really good. I think that should be my objective. If at least one person looks at my exhibition and starts thinking about something important and eventually takes some kind of action, that's really great.

I get this empty feeling at this point of the process. It's really familiar to me by now so I'll deal with it. It's just unpleasant.

I put ketchup in my hair last night, trying to get the green-yellowish tone out. I had it in my head for maybe 40 minutes and the smell was disgusting. I still feel like gagging, just thinking about it. It didn't even do anything. My hair is so stubborn! It feels like no matter what I do, it's just a weird lump of pale yellow, grey and I don't know even know, the color of old, sun-dried puke. What is wrong with you, hair! Also the smell stuck. I washed it with shampoo twice. It still smells like ketchup. I'm gonna have to wash it again today. I'll also pour all my blue and purple colors in there because I don't want to carry them back home. There's a good chance it will just be brown but at least there's less luggage for me.

Wish me luck for my exhibition!


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