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Tue, Jul 16, 2024


13.09.2019 - 01.06.2020

Curated by Karen Grøn/ Director and Katrine Stenum

Trapholt Museum of Modern Art and Design explores the complex interplaybetween the human senses. In a major international exhibition,SENSE ME, artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Wassily Kandinsky, GeorgiaO’Keeffe and Peter de Cupere focus on how sounds, scents, colours and forms affect us personally.












Smoke Cloud, 2013


The relationship between expectations and reality is explored in Peter de Cupere’s Smoke Cloud. Youmay expect clean air above the cloud, but you will actually find the stench of pollution.Peter de Cupere/ Smoke CloudPhoto © Peter de Cupere


Sniff Receptor, 2003


pinkbunny candy1

Sniff Receptor, the first Belgian Smell-Movie made by Peter de Cupere. Explore the characters of the movie by scratching and sniffing the card. 


About the exhibition

Test your own senses, taste a colour, put your head in the clouds, visit anartificial forest and lay back on a talking tongue.

Opening on 12 September 2019, Trapholt’s major exhibition SENSE ME investigates how our senses affect the way we perceive ourselves – and others.

The exhibition engages all of the visitor’s senses through large art and design installations createdby leading figures such as Olafur Eliasson, Jeppe Hein, Anne Patterson,Margrethe Odgaard and Peter de Cupere. It also incorporates works by artists from the early twentieth century avant-garde, such as Wassily Kandinskyand Georgia O’Keeffe, who were all interested in the idea of themulti-sensory human being.

Karen Grøn, director of Trapholt, says:– Images and sounds fill our daily lives more than ever. We all know the contrast between “hygge” snuggling up on a soft sofa, wrapped in a warm plaid, holding a mug of fragrant hot cocoa, with music, a book and gentle candlelight – and being stretched out in the dentist’s office, harsh lightfalling straight down on our face, feeling sharp pangs of pain as cold, hardtools resonate in our skulls. The difference between those two situations illustrates how we actually perceive the world through a symphony of impulses, and the design heavily influence our experience. In its exploration of how we sense the world, SENSE ME incorporates early twentieth-century art, contemporary art installations, designs and workshops. It presents works by avant-garde artists of the early 1900s, who ushered in a new spiritual connection between material, spirit and senses.

Present-day artists and designers extend their explorations in spatial installations that incorporate sound, scents, taste, tactility, touch and body. Guests are invited to put their senses first, leaving reflections for later. We react instinctively to sensory input – but our responses may differ from those of others. Inspired by the phenomenon of ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), the exhibition lets you explore how you are affected by whispering, crackling and rubbing sounds.

The idea of multisensory input is not far removed from everyday life. In fact, the recently world-renowned Danish concept of ‘hygge’ can be seen as a multisensory situation that includes something good to eat, drink, listen toand sit in, as well as a special kind of lighting, a quiet pace and so on. SENSE ME presents the changing faces of Danish ‘hygge’ through replicas of living rooms from the 1950s to the present day. From bar sets and sewing machines to huge sofas and flat-screen TVs onwards to intelligent homes and board games. Workshops in the exhibition allow visitors to explore the connections between taste and colour, between storytelling and scents and between graphic design and taste. Guests can also take a test to see whether they are synaesthetes, that is, people for whom a specific sensory input, such as a sound, triggers an additional sensation in the form of a colour, shape, number or taste. It is estimated that one in ten people is a synaesthete.

SENSE ME challenges our habitual ideas what it means to sense the world.How do our senses affect our individual perceptions, including how we perceive others? It also raises our awareness of manipulative sensory inputs orchestrated by those who want to achieve something by subconsciously influencing our senses.

SENSE ME is part of a series of exhibitions at Trapholt that explore our personal world views. The first in the series was EAT ME in 2017. Based on extensive research, SENSE ME is curated by the director of Trapholt, Karen Grøn, and curator Katrine Stenum Mortensen.

The exhibition is supported by the A.P. Møller Foundation and the Spar Nord Foundation.

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