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Mari Keto’s Glittering Truthscapes

The fairyland dreamscapes of artist Mari Keto mix humor, glitter and intricate sculpture to uncover some of the issues of our age

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Photography by Anders Bøggild

Artist Mari Keto’s exhibition Faction and Fairytales confronts us with the uncomfortable truth that all that glitters is not necessarily gold.

Referencing the typology of snow globes – which traditionally show idealistic landscapes – Keto creates scenes of intriguing beauty that seem to come from myths and fairylands at Galleri Montan. However, the alluring sculptures enclosed in their glass domes carry a more sinister message.

On closer inspection of the pieces, viewers will find intricately cast skeletal angels sitting under clouds of pollution as in Silver Lining (2017) or atop a mass of plaited blond hair in Tale of the Dead Princess (2016). The latter work uses a mixture of real and artificial hair, blurring the lines between genuine and fake, making it impossible to distinguish between the two. This obscurity is pertinent in the post-truth society in which we find ourselves. Keto’s artworks compel us to look further than superficial first impressions and discover underlying distortions and true facts.

Another topic that Keto explores is bio-engineering. The Hybrides series mixes materials such as copper, silver, nylon and techniques of electroforming and casting to create uncanny futuristic plants. Despite their attractive appearance, the works question the implications of manipulating and engineering plants as if by magic. How can we predict what impacts this will have on humans, animals and the environment?

By shrouding eery motifs and difficult confrontations in glitter and sparkles, Faction and Fairytales illustrates the rose-tinted illusions of a society that is not confronting its problematic relationship to the world it occupies.

Faction and Fairytales will be on display until November 24 at Galleri Montan, Copenhagen


Mari Keto
Tale of a Dead Princess, 2016, Mari Keto
Mari Keto
Silver Lining, 2017, Mari Keto
Mari Keto
Hybrides Turquoise, 2017, Mari Keto
Mari Keto
Hybrides 6, 2017, Mari Keto
Mari Keto
Hybrides 5, 2017, Mari Keto
Mari Keto
Hybrides 1, 2017, Mari Keto

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