LOOPING THE HOOP
Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen14 Apr – 29 Oct 2023
NB! The ourglass is under reconstruction – It will be back on its place in the Baroque garden on 27th April.
With particular focus on the concepts of time and cycles, artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen has created a site-specific work with the title Looping the Hoop for Gl. Holtegaard’s enormous Baroque garden.
Time is equivocal and difficult to grasp fully. More specifically, time is the seconds, minutes and hours that pass. Time encapsulates events and provides us with a means of navigation.
For millennia, philosophers and scientists have suggested different concepts of what time actually is. But time is still something that causes us to reflect.
One of the major missions of the Baroque era was to remind us that time is limited and that we should therefore reflect carefully on how to lead our lives. Cuenca Rasmussen has delved into the symbolic world of the Baroque era and settled on the hourglass, a symbol of transience used frequently in the period, a so-called vanitas symbol. The hourglass symbolizes the transience of life and reminds us that our time on earth is not eternal – that every grain of sand that runs out represents the countdown of life. In Cuenca Rasmussen’s works, the ominous vanitas symbol of the hourglass is transformed into a life-affirming cyclical undertaking. The upwards and downwards movements of the grains of sand become a sign of return, emergence and change.
A life-size, rotatable, mouth-blown hourglass stands at the center of the main axis of the Baroque garden, like a foreign sculptural object that has just landed. The hourglass, which can be activated by the guests, visualizes time and makes it something that one can relate to and control physically and directly. In the western world, we usually orient ourselves towards a forward-moving and linear time. This hourglass can be turned around to both sides. This makes time a cyclical, dynamic and repetitive entity. The midpoint of the sculpture, where the sand runs from one glass to the other, becomes a focal point where the gaze is captured. But does this time become a period of waiting, time travel, or a much-needed hypnotic moment for reflection?
The circular shape and the cyclical are also consistent elements in Cuenca Rasmussen’s video work, which is shown on a screen in the garden. From above, we see a section of Gl. Holtegaard’s Baroque garden where a female figure with swinging hula hoops becomes a spinning circular element that spirals into the highly symmetrical garden plan. In the black-and-white rendering of the garden, the contrasts become clearer, and the circles from the hula hoops seem to activate the garden. Hula hoops are scattered around the garden, as scenographic components intended for visitors to the site. It is an invitation from the artist to occupy the garden, set the hula hoop in motion and forget about time for a while. Cuenca Rasmussen invites us all to play and to participate in the loop. Another characteristic of Baroque gardens, in addition to the perfect symmetry, are unexpected features like planted archways and labyrinths that you can get lost in. Playfulness and fun are therefore always present in Baroque gardens. With equal parts earnestness and playfulness, Lillibeth Cuenca Rasmussen thus inscribes herself with the work Looping the Hoop into the spirit of Baroque horticultural art.
Performances interacting with the work will be held during the run of the exhibition.
BUBBLY BAROQUE – Contemporary Art in the Baroque Garden
Bubbly Baroque – Contemporary Art in the Baroque Garden is a three-year exhibition trilogy in which Gl. Holtegaard has invited Danish artists of international standing to work individually with creating a site-specific project for the Baroque garden. The art projects are intended as an interventionist and poetic interplay as well as a contrast to the history and spirit of the over 30.000 m² Baroque garden. The first in the series is artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen with the work Looping the Hoop. In 2024 you can experience artist Nina Beier and in 2025 the art group SUPERFLEX.
The exhibition trilogy Bubbly Baroque – Contemporary Art in the Baroque Garden is generously supported by:
Aage & Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond and Augustinus Fonden
Gammel Holtegaards exhibition programme 2023 is supported by:
Augustinus Fonden, The Obel Family Foundation and the Danish Arts Foundation.