66e Salon de Montrouge
Curated by Coline Davenne and Guillaume Désanges
Le Beffroi, Montrouge, 2022

Signe Frederiksen was born in 1987. She lives and works in Brussels. She graduated from the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen, Denmark.

A blow to the stomach. A faceless woman. A dagger in the head. A monster in the body. Elongated, perforated, penetrated, deformed, mutilated, eroticized and chimerical figures; brains fragmented or bursting under stress, tired faces, exorbitant eyes, exposed viscera, tortured minds. The violence of the world inhabits Signe Frederiksen’s drawings. All the violence of the world and the drawings looming like a landfill. This series was begun in 2018, a pivotal moment in the artist’s practice, when she was working with children with autism or attention and behavioural disorders in a primary school in Brussels. Acknowledging her inability to continue writing, which had been her main medium up to that point, she developed a new daily, calm and meticulous drawing practice to tell of the institution’s violence, and, more generally, of the domination of bodies in a grinding dance that is a strange hybrid between animals and a bitter eroticism. The emergence of these forms of violence, sexuality and constraint in a world perceived as childlike accentuates the unease. There are full stomachs and empty stomachs. Torn, lacerated, probed and neglected stomachs. Like the traces of a nightmare drawn upon awakening, these mental images also draw their sources from Sophie Podolski, Roland Topor or Alain Le Saux. Her work originates from the position of the observer, which is where she likes to place herself, favouring the acuity of the gaz and her great empathy, which she deploys like a sharp tool. All these experienced feelings overflow into forms that speak to the gut more than the mind. More recently, the collage series L’Écho de la Mode [The Echo of Fashion] made from 1950s and 1970s women’s magazines, continues this tearing apart of bodies. There, like both intimate and impersonal surrealist assemblages, these works bring the violence contained in household product advertisements, and induced in the home, back into focus.

Signe Frederiksen is thus mainly interested in the forms of violence felt within our societies and their institutional frameworks by certain social and gender groups – women, artists, women artists, young artists, young women artists, in particular. This thread of her practice, whose patriarchal construction she seeks to reveal, infuses the breadth of her work. Trained in the New Media department of the Copenhagen school of fine arts, she has long practised more intellectual performances which took place in the interstices and intermediate spaces of art. Often linked to the context in which they occur, her performative works are always articulated in relation to a contextual and paradoxically autobiographical writing practice, even if the refusal to appear too clearly – not in order to hide, but precisely to question the conditions of visibility of the works and their artists – characterises a large part of her work. In Le Moment fatal [The Fatal Moment] (2018-2022), she re-enacts discussions between  visitors of the Salon de Montrouge and herself by telephone. It is the absent artist who seeks to gather the visitors’ opinions on what they see, the art world and the behaviours, expectations and conventions it induces.


Coline Davenne

Education

  • 2019-20: A.pass – advanced performance and scenography studies, Brussels. (BE)
  • 2015-16: Post-graduate art program at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Lyon. (FR)
  • 2007-13: Master of Fine Arts at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen. (DK)
  • 2011-12: Erasmus at Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna. (A)

Exhibitions

  • 2024: Toucher l’insensé, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. (FR)
  • 2023: Le réseau des murmures, Espace Nonono, Non-étoile, Montreuil. (FR)
  • 2023: Ouverture de COMETA, COMETA, Paris. (FR)
  • 2022: 66e Salon de Montrouge, Montrouge. (FR)
  • 2021: The Plasma Incident, Bonamatic, Copenhagen. (DK)
  • 2020: I forsvar for det normative barn, Institut Funder Bakke, Silkeborg. (DK)
  • 2019: Myte-figur-myte-figur, Kunsthal ved siden af, Svendborg. (DK)
  • 2019: La Parole et l’Écoute, Bagnoler, Bagnolet. (FR)
  • 2018: A Barbarian in Paris, Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris. (FR)
  • 2018: Det fatala momentet, Växjö konsthall, Växjö. (SE)
  • 2017: [Untitled 17], Kunsthal NORD, Aalborg. (DK)
  • 2016: Paraphernalia, Musée des Confluences, Lyon (FR)
  • 2016: Conversation, www.ilyd.nu
  • 2016: The Classless Language, Morsø Kunstforening, Nykøbing Mors. (DK)
  • 2015: Les Insoumuses, Coup de coeur #5, EFFE, Paris. (FR)
  • 2013: Afgang 2013, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen. (DK)

Editorial work

Published writings and interviews

Residencies and grants

  • 2017-20: Work grant, Danish Arts Foundation
  • 2017: Danish Art Workshops, Copenhagen. (DK)

Seminars and workshops

  • 2023: Là où sont nos rêves : repenser l’institution, le BBB centre d’art (public discussion), Toulouse. (FR)
  • 2023: Guest teacher, Københavns Kunstskole. (DK)
  • 2021: Qu’est-qu’on fout là ? (workshop) with Agathe Boulanger and Jules Lagrange, Bétonsalon, Paris. (FR)

frederiksen.signe@gmail.com
Website design and development Céline Gay, with Bureau Roman Seban
Financial support: DANISH ARTS FOUNDATION