Four neoclassical marble lions drenched in milk for the local stray cats to drink.
This piece is a second scenery Danish artist Nina Beier creates using marble lions in the framework of the Endless Exhibition. ‘Housebroken’ carries a wide range of possible interpretations. The original soap, purses and male hair added by the artist to the sculptures in 2019 are taken away. The lions are tipped over and scattered in the hallway. Milk is added to some of the lion’s cavities. It plays an important role in the piece and carries many symbolic connotations. It can be viewed as a symbol of sustenance, but it can also be understood as a metaphor for our economies, which are designed to milk every resource; factory farming and dairy production are among the highest sources of CO2 emissions.
Nina Beier's first long-term show in Belgium was ‘Four Stomachs’, a four-year exhibition she had in and around Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp, from 2012 to 2015. She is also known for ‘Men’, the group of bronze equestrian statues she grouped together in the waves of Nieuwpoort-Bad for Beaufort 2018.
For ‘Housebroken’, Beier occupies Kunsthal Gent’s internal spaces, by placing sculptures—each incorporating a massive marble guardian lion—in the hallways, toilets, and originally also the courtyard garden of the former monastery.
‘Housebroken’ is on view from Saturday 25 May 2019 for an indefinite period.
Curated by Chris Fitzpatrick.
Nina Beier (b. 1975, Denmark) lives and works in Berlin. Beier has had one-person exhibitions at Spike Island, Bristol; CAC, Vilnius; the Kunstverein in Hamburg; Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp; Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland and her work has been shown at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; CCA Wattis, San Francisco; Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; ICA, London; Swiss Institute, New York; the Power Station, Shanghai; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco; Kunsthaus Zürich; National Gallery, Prague; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Performa 15, New York, 13th Biennale de Lyon, the Baltic Triennial 13 and the 20th Biennale of Sydney.