Peach Corner

Nymphs of Vingerling 

Esben Kaldahl (DK)

18 August – 24 September

Exhibition opening: 18 August at 16.00–19.00

Exhibition curator: Hilda Piazzolla

Svala Vagnsdatter Andersen, PhD, gives the opening address at 17.00

With the exhibition Nymphs of Vingerling  Peach Corner hosts a solo presentation by Esben Kaldahl, a young talent who is fascinated with the seductive qualities of things: what is it in an object that speaks to us? What is it that draws us closer, makes us want to touch and possess? Through two interconnected series of works Kaldahl examines how we form attachments with the objects we collect and how we imbue things with emotional and personal significance.

Kaldahl describes his sculptures as ‘nymphs’, a reference to the mythological creatures, who exist in the border zone between body and nature: an Oceanid is both human and river, a Dryad is both a tree and a body. Kaldahl’s nymphs appear as alluring objects, organic forms in white stoneware with tactual glaze surfaces that draw us in. Their forms initially appear abstract, but on closer inspection, they reveal elements of a body: an elbow, the back of a knee, a roll of belly fat. Each nymph sculpture has its own name, such as ‘Tir’, ‘Ort’ or ‘Mal’; an onomatopoetical reference to the object’s sound. The notion of sound is also evoked by the sculptures’ openings, which might resemble singing mouths. The onomatopoetical names could be imagined as the sound made by a strange animal, the sound of nature or a symbol in an alphabet, a rune, an invocation. 

Along with the Nymphs, the exhibitions presents a number of reliquaries, each containing a fragment of a nymph. The reliquaries are a study of magical objects, as we know them from religious contexts, where a relic might be a fragment of the body of a holy figure, such as a bone or a mummified body part, or an object that is closely associated with the figure. In extension of each magical artefact hangs a series of ‘souvenirs’ that replicate a part of the original. The relationship between original and replica is a study in the way the magic properties of an original object can reside even in a cheap key fob, a magnet or a lighter. In spite of their obvious lack of monetary value, these objects may hold great emotional and personal significance.

Kaldahl’s relics draw us in with their sensuous scenography and playfully offer an object we can imbue with significance, a vessel for our emotions.

Esben Schakenda Kaldahl
(b. 1992) graduated from the Royal Danish Academy – Design in Copenhagen in 2020. His practice revolves around human relationships with objects and their storytelling capacity. In 2021 he received the home interior design magazines’ Design Award as craft maker of the year. In 2021 and 2022 he was awarded the Danish Arts Foundation’s working grant for new craft and design talents. Selected exhibitions: Confessions, group exhibition, Alcova, Milan, 2022; Cup, group exhibition, Art Week, Copenhagen, 2021; Post.Service, group exhibition, Tableau, Copenhagen, 2021; Ukurant (Obsolete), group exhibition, 3daysofdesign, Copenhagen, 2020; Automatons, solo exhibition, Tableau, Copenhagen, 2019; Table Talks, group exhibition, Pillnitz Palace, Dresden, 2019.