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EXHIBITION · Nicolai Howalt · Boxes & Paper

19 April - 16 June


Nicolai Howalt · Boxes & Paper

On Friday 19 April, Ex Nihilo opens its doors for the exhibition “Boxes & Paper”, which presents brand new works by the Danish visual artist Nicolai Howalt.

“Boxes & Paper” consists of framed assemblages of motifless, aged analogue photo papers as well as more than a hundred collected, handmade boxes whose various temporal origins go all the way back to the 1920s.

Each frame in the exhibition room contains the sheets of a complete package of antique photographic paper. The papers have never been exposed to a photographic negative, but taken directly out of their packaging and developed in the darkroom as they are. Due to the different ages of the papers, expiry dates, quality and conditions during storage, each paper reveals unique tonalities and flaws in their light-sensitive photographic emulsion when developed. It is therefore solely the papers themselves and the ravages of time that have created the motifs.

In front of the visual works, the collected boxes are installed in towers of different heights, which act as tangible and sculptural counterbalances to the fleeting imagery of the photo papers. Just as boxes and crates are used to store, preserve and organize, photography is phenomenologically and historically linked to remembrance, preservation and documentation. Both act as containers for time: one for tangible artifacts and the other for intangible visual memories.

In the exhibition, however, both photographs and boxes only make visible their own complex and material intertwining over time. The human stories and experiences that have surrounded them for decades emerge only as silent echoes in the small marks and flaws of the Stoic works.

In this complex interplay, the exhibition invites us to reflect on the boundaries between the visible and the invisible, between the material and the metaphysical, the concrete and the remembered. The materials are not only silent witnesses to the past, but themselves active participants in a narrative about the eternal transformation of time.

The vernissage will take place in Ex Nihilo on April 19 from 16:00-20:00 with a special concert by the vocalist Randi Pontopiddan at 18:00.


Opening hours

Tuesday and Thursday  15-18

Special opening for CPF Saturdays 8/06 and 15/06  14-18


19 April
16 June
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Ex Nihilo
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Ex Nihilo
Haraldsgade 16B, Nørrebro
Copenhagen 2200, Danmark
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