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Seeing the real – art and reality in Kristina Steinbock’s work
By Svala Vagnsdatter Andersen, MA (Visual Culture)

When Kristina Steinbock sets the stage, the boundary between fact and poetry blurs and dissolves. Instead she works with establishing broad, overlapping interfaces between theatricality and identity, between individuals and categories and between documentation and fiction. There, in the middle, where everything remains uncertain and undecided, she plays out scenarios that, precisely because they are set in borderlands, can accommodate different forms of authenticity and documentation. In terms of method, Steinbock brings an anthropological take to bear on the realm of art, going out into the field to collect factual information about the environments and the people she portrays. Steinbock consistently uses amateur actors, but crucially these actors possess a different kind of professionalism: they have a lifelong familiarity with the role they are asked to play. Here, a sailor plays a sailor, a blind person plays a blind person, a sex worker plays a sex worker. Here, too, Steinbock evokes a more complicated relationship between the theatrical and our everyday experience of what constitutes a true human identity – if we can present, portray and perform ourselves as roles, as characters, who then are we? In her capacity as director, Steinbock insists on never taking the easy route when addressing that particular question, opting instead to dwell on the individual. Her fascination with the idea of ‘real’ human beings heightens the relationship between performer, director and thematic presentation. Similarly, the mental and psychological preparatory work necessary to know and recognise the amateur actors’ individuality, masks and narratives about themselves increases the gravitas of the films and informs the works’ ability to allow existence to balance defiantly between what may be described as broader categories and individual cases. This methodical and thematic balancing act constitutes a steady reminder of our affiliation with the categorical and with the idiosyncratic.

Kristina Steinbock (1974)
2008-2012 The Royal Danish Academy of Art, Dept. Of Theory (MA)
1999-2002 Glasgow School Of Art, Dept. Of Photography (BA)

 Exhibitions Group and Solo
2019, Frederiksborg slot, Hilleroed, DK
Winner Best Narative short film at Fine Art Film Festival, Venice Institute of Ciontemporary art, L.A 
Portrait.Now, Ljungberg Museum, Sweeden

Selected Works on Blindness, SOLO Rundetaarnet/Roundtower, Copenhagen, DK
Deconstruction Of Already Existing Knowledge Of Blindness, SOLO Galleri Image, DK
Vi tager intet ansvar 5, Warehouse 9. Copenhagen DK
         Beers 5, 100 kvinder på kro Galleri CGK, Copenhagen DK
          A Romantic Notion Of Blindness, Clarion Stockholm, S
I can feel the things you can see KU.BE, Copenhagen DK
          Home sweet home, The Vic Theatre, London
          House without windows ,Husets cinema,Copenhagen DK
          Det argumenterer vi ikke for, Talk town, Staldgade 74, Copenhagen DK
          Mother o’mine, M Gallery, DK
          BEERS 5 - 100 kvinder på kro, Huset for Kunst og Design, Holstebro, DK
BEERS 5, Byens kro, Copenhagen DK
         Imago Mundi, The Georgio Sini Foundation, Venice I
         Mellemvaerende, Videoart in public space, Silkeborg DK
         Berlin Soup, West-Germany, Berlin, DE
New Danish Videoart, Nikolaj Kunsthal Copenhagen DK
2013 FOKUS Videoart filmfestival, Copenhagen DK
         Spring exhibition, Kunsthal Charlottenborg ,Copenhagen DK
Exit, Nikolaj Kunsthal/ Contemporary Art Center Copenhagen
         Portraet NU,The Museum of National History, Hilleroed DK
Harbor-Horizon, BKS Garage, Copenhagen DK
         Trådløs, Gallery Q, Copenhagen DK
         Childish Joys, Copenhagen Photofestival, National Museum of Copenhagen DK
Spring exhibition, Kunsthal Charlottenborg ,Copenhagen DK
         Renegade Projection, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen DK
         Hibernation and Re-collections, Ystad Art museum, Sweden
         Long term matrimonial alliances, Neueskunsthaus, Ahrenshoop, Germany D

Public performance/ Social projects /Public Screening
Screening of The Space Before Sleep, ICEVI , Greece
Screening of The Space Before Sleep INVITER, Clermont Ferrant France
Blind Idioms, Performance, Koebmagergade, Copenhagen
BlindIdioms, Performance Roundtower Copenhagen
Blind idioms, Performance in Public Space, Aarhus Denmark
2017 Audiowalk, Blind Institute, Hellerup DK
         Audiowalk, Blind Conference, Middelfart DK
2016 Body stories KU.BE, Frederiksberg DK
         Body stories, IBOS, Hellerup DK
2015 Selvforsvar, BlindInstitute Hellerup DK
         Selvforsvar,Central Station, Copenhagen DK

  Awards/ Grants
  2018 Statensværksteder
  2018 Kulturudviklingspuljen Aarhus 
  2018 Danish Art Foundation
  2017 L.F Foghts fond
  2017 Danish Art Foundation
  2016 Danish Art Foundation
  2015 Danish Art Foundation
  2015 Danish Art Foundation
  2014 Blix Foundation grant
  2014 Silkeborg Art Committee
  2013 Frederiksberg Talent
  2013 Jury prize FOKUS-Video Art Festival
  2011 Blix artist prize

Conference attended
2017 Tactile reading conference, Stockholm (speaker)
2016 Audio descriptions; The Art of Access, London (speaker)
2015 Visually-impaired Musicians' Lives UCL, London,(speaker)
2014 Touching The Tactile; Medical Museion, Copenhagen