Plattform: Mandy Merck, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Therese Henningsen – “Maintenancer” Screening and Reading
Plattform is Bergen Kunsthall’s series of lectures and debates with artists and prominent thinkers. This season we present talks and conversations in connection with our winter exhibitions by Martine Syms and Sidsel Meineche Hansen. Plattform events are live streamed on Vimeo and kunsthall.no
Maintenancer was made by Sidsel Meineche Hansen and Therese Henningsen. The video explores sex work and the maintenance of sex dolls in a German (doll) brothel. It documents the initial transition into post-human prostitution, where sex work shifts from the physical body of the sex worker onto the sex doll or robot, whose dead weight demands regular lifting, disinfection and repair by a human carer.
British media scholar Mendy Merck will present the talk “Uncanny Dollies”, based on a newly commissioned essay about the work Maintenancer. The talk will be followed by a conversation between Merck and the two artists, Sidsel Meineche Hansen and Therese Henningsen.
Mandy Merck is Professor Emerita of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has edited the film and television journal Screen and the Channel 4 television series Out on Tuesday. Her books include Perversions: Deviant Readings, In Your Face: Nine Sexual Studies, The Art of Tracey Emin, Hollywood’s American Tragedies, Further Adventures of The Dialectic of Sex and The British Monarchy on Screen. Her latest, Cinema’s Melodramatic Celebrity, argues that modern fame and film melodrama share the same worldview, one that cannot resolve the relation of personal worth to social esteem. It is published in paperback by BFI Bloomsbury in January 2022.
Therese Henningsen is a filmmaker and programmer based in London. Her filmmaking often takes shape through the encounter with the person(s) filmed and the direction this may take. Her films have been shown at Whitechapel Gallery, Chisenhale Gallery, Whitstable Biennale, Close-Up Cinema, SMK Statens Museum for Kunst, among others. She is a member of the two film collectives Sharna Pax and Terrassen, both engaging with the social life of film. She collaborates on ongoing film and research projects with artists and filmmakers Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Sidsel Meineche Hansen and Juliette Joffé. Therese came to filmmaking through anthropology and holds an MA in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths College. She is currently working on a practice-led PhD in Media Arts at Royal Holloway University, and teaches on the MA Documentary and Ethnographic Film at UCL.
Sidsel Meineche Hansen
Sidsel Meineche Hansen is an artist based in London. Her practice spans a diverse range of media including wood, clay and metals through which crafted objects are made, to Computer Generated Imagery, VR animations, video and other digital media. Meineche Hansen makes installations and artworks based on her ongoing enquiry into virtual and robotic bodies and their relationship to human labour within the gaming, pornographic and tech-industries. Solo exhibitions include Flat 46, Christian Andersen, 2021; home vs owner, Rodeo, London / Piraeus (2020); Live Life Well®, Center for Contemporary Arts, Prague (2019); Welcome to End-Used City, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2019): An Artists Guide to Stop Being an Artist, SMK – National Gallery of Denmark (2019); Real Doll Theatre, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2018); End- user, Kunsthal Århus, Denmark (2018); OVER, Index Stockholm, Sweden (2018); OVER, Ludlow 38, New York City (2017); No Right Way 2 Cum, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2016); SECOND SEX WAR, Gasworks, London (2016); ONE-self, Temporary Gallery & Kunstler House Bremen, Germany (2015); and INSIDER, CUBITT, London (2014).