Loving Belinda

In Jane Jin Kaisen’s (DK) solo exhibition Loving Belinda criticism is raised regarding how transnational adoption and race is being discussed in Denmark. This critique, comes from an unexpected point of view – Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, an Asian-American couple, whom are the adoptive parents of the white Danish girl, Belinda.
Udstillingsperiode:
09-01-2015 - 08-03-2015
Medie:
Photography, video
Titel:
Loving Belinda
Kunstner:
Jane Jin Kaisen
In Jane Jin Kaisen’s (DK) solo exhibition Loving Belinda criticism is raised regarding the manner in which transnational adoption and race is being discussed in Denmark. This critique, however, comes from an unexpected point of view – Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, an Asian-American married couple from Minnesota, USA, whom are the adoptive parents of the white Danish girl, Belinda.

The focal point of the exhibition is a fictional narrative about the Anderson family. The video work Adopting Belinda from 2006, which shows Belinda as a baby, is exhibited alongside two newly produced video works and a photographic portrait. In these new works, a Danish TV-host revisits Mr. and Mrs. Anderson and the now 9-year-old Belinda in order to hear how the family is thriving. Furthermore, a Danish adoption researcher interviews the parents about love, adoption, and attachment.

Kaisen uses the ‘mockumentary’ genre in her video works in order to distort reality resulting in a humoristic and destabilizing effect. By turning the ‘racial order’ in transnational adoption upside-down, unequal but often hidden and unspoken power structures, privileges, and new ways through which the West seeks to legitimize adoption, are unearthed in a displaced and at times absurd fashion.

Although the works use fiction, they incorporate real debates and opinions concerning transnational adoption. The grey area between reality and fiction is underlined by the fact that the ‘characters’ in Kaisen’s works are not played by professional actors but by people (Elke Olaf Goll, Tobias H
übinette, Morten Goll, Lene Myong, and Jane Jin Kaisen), who have critically engaged with transnational adoption and related subjects such as migration, asylum politics, race, and whiteness.

The video works are contextualized by a collage and a publication that further identify how the terminology and views on transnational adoption have changed drastically in recent years, mainly because critical perspectives by adult adoptees have increasingly become part of the public debate.

Jane Jin Kaisen’s art projects can be seen as critical translations of transnational issues and political histories, which are actively being negotiated in the present. Recent art projects include Revolution is Not a Bird´s Eye View (City States, The Liverpool Biennial 2012), Reiterations of Dissent (awarded the Montana ENTERPRIZE 2011 at Kunsthallen Brandts), and The Woman, The Orphan, and The Tiger (Videonale13 and Women In-Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012, among others).

Throughout the past decade Kaisen has worked extensively with questions relating to transnational adoption, both in her artistic practice, as co-founder of the artist collectives UFOlab and Orientity Exhibition, and through her engagement in adoption-critical networks and communities in Scandinavia, South Korea, and USA.

The artist will be present at the opening.
The exhibition will be opened by Louise Wolthers, curator and researcher from Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg.
In connection with the exhibition an art book will be published. Book launch will be held 25th February from 4-6pm

Saturday January 10th, 11 am - 2.40 pm, a seminar on race, migration and coloniality in contemporary art will be held at Godsbanen with Jane Jin Kaisen, Lene Myong, Louise Wolthers, Marianne Ping Huang, and Tone Olaf Nielsen as speakers.

The exhibition is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation