Collected Memory: Magic Materialism at Martin Asbæk Gallery

Martin Asbæk Gallery is proud to present the exhibition Magic Materialism by the Danish visual artist Mille Kalsmose. The exhibition is the artist's first solo exhibition in the gallery and is based on Kalsmose’s distinctive artistic expression, defined by philosopher and writer Ole Fogh Kirkeby as magical materialism. This ism covers an acknowledgement of the materiality of our body and our surroundings, as well as of the invisible, immaterial reality’s importance – especially in the digital age.

As humans, we consist of both spirit and matter, and magical materialism utilizes, among other things, the term “bodymind”, which describes the chiastic entanglement of these two layers of consciousness through a fundamental trust in our sensations. If we only understand ourselves as matter, as bodies in a physical world, we only exist in a given place at a given time. But if, on the other hand, body and spirit are brought into an actively reflective connection, a magical superstructure is created.

In the exhibition, magical materialism becomes a way of creating a connection between spirit and matter, and in this process, language plays a pivotal role. “I can’t see myself” appears repeatedly in the exhibition, which appeared before Kalsmose during hypnosis. Both physiologically, as Kalsmose was in a changed state of mind, but also philosophically and spiritually. Because if you can’t see yourself, how do you find out who you are? Kalsmose explores this sense of blindness by connecting with her own as well as our collective history through hypnosis. The result is the series Universal Blindness, which consists of a number of paper and concrete works, each bearing statements printed in Braille. The blocks appear familiar, as architectural reminiscences from previous empires, and at the same time as blocks of knowledge, outside of time and space.

Magic Materialism is fundamentally about seeing; seeing ourselves, seeing the world as well as seeing behind the reality that consists only of matter, and through our inner vision catch sight of the invisible reality, where I am part of we, and we are part of the co-thinking body of the world. The exhibition also presents works from Mille Kalsmose’s recognized series Collected Memory, which is an on-going network of sculptural installations that houses an archive as well as a database of the participants’ ideas, visions and hopes. Collected Memory is an archive of humanity’s shared visions, a world diary, our collective history.

Mille Kalsmose (b. 1972) is a Danish visual artist. Kalsmose graduated from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and studied at the Bio Art Lab, School of Visual Arts, in New York. Kalsmose’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, most recently at the 59th Venice Biennale and Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg. Kalsmose’s work is represented in several private and public collections, including Horsens Art Museum, Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, MANA Contemporary in the States, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chile.


1. When have you found success in following your heart, your gut and your intuition, when it has seemed illogical or almost impossible for you?
2. When did you not follow your intuition but wish that you had?
3. What would your life and current pursuits look like, if you only followed your intuition?

When have you found success in following your heart, your gut and your intuition, when it has seemed illogical or almost impossible for you?