Thousands of women were burned at the stake for witchcraft in later Renaissance Europe. Some were burned alive, while some were hanged, strangled, or beheaded prior to being burnt. Besides the grim and tragic tale of the Nordic Witch Trials that people know, an exhibition at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Denmark aims to provide more information concerning the tragic event:
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“The participating artists explore discriminatory fear and hatred as it spreads from both the bottom up and the top down—between neighbors onto larger communities and from governments to other political institutions, questioning how such narratives are often written out of history,” says the gallery in a statement. “At a time of global unrest, as the politics of commemoration are in question, ‘Witch Hunt’ suggests the need to revisit seemingly distant histories and proposes new imaginaries for remembering and representation.”
Featuring such female artists as Louise Bourgeois, Carol Rama, Carmen Winant and Aviva Silverman, the exhibition contextualizes works of art on view by presenting scholarship and archival materials that detail the social, gendered and geopolitical aspects of Nordic witchcraft trials.
“From the impact of Danish colonialism to the multifaceted violences of misogyny, the exhibition proposes a present haunted by persecutions of the past—but one that is also occupied by new critical voices of opposition,” says Kunsthal Charlottenborg in the statement.
Image via the Smithsonian