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At a time when societies are physically and ideologically divided, by COVID and climate change, Dr. James Rogers, and artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir seek to bridge differences and connect people with a joint project on human insecurity and art.

18 life-size, androgynous, figurative sculptures will be arranged on the ground around the Danish Institute for Advanced Study, Center for War Studies, the SDU campus, Nordatlantisk Hus, at Platanpladsen in Odense city and outside the Icelandic Embassy in Copenhagen.

The sculptures meet us at eye-level and invite the observer to engage with the works and become part of the exhibition. They remind us of the frailty of the human condition, and how we battle the challenges and insecurities, such as COVID, climate change, and our divided politics, in today’s world. The sculptures raise questions about our perception of everyday life, and how we relate to each other.

On September 1st 15:00-17:00 the Danish Institute for Advanced Study (DIAS) invites the public to take part in this interdisciplinary experience at the official opening reception of the CONNECTIONS exhibition by Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir.

The exhibition will be opened by The Ambassador of Iceland, Mrs. Helga Hauksdóttir, followed by Thórarinsdóttir and Rogers’ own introduction to the project and their thoughts behind it. After the reception, you are invited to join a tour of the cross-campus exhibition.

A chance to connect in a divided world

“Today, the world is physically divided by COVID-19, climate change, and conflict, while also being ideologically divided by the extremes of left- and right-wing politics. We need only look to the pulling down of controversial statues and differing national reactions to our global pandemic and heating world for pertinent examples of political and social division. Such division makes CONNECTIONS a timely and important sculpture exhibition, one that aims to connect people and stimulate discussion about what divides and unites us as human beings.” – James Rogers

As an interdisciplinary historian of war and human conflict, James Rogers has worked with Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir for the last five years. He has applied her work to stimulate new interpretations of how people are connected, divided, mentally and physically fragmented, and personally affected by war, conflict, and crisis. This with an overall goal to express understandings about the impact of crisis, catastrophe, and war on human society. 

The CONNECTIONS exhibition is possible thanks to the Danish Institute for Advanced Study and Albani Fonden, that has supported the project with 200,000 DKK.


At the same time as the CONNECTIONS exhibition, Thórarinsdóttir’s installation ARMORS will be placed in the heart of Copenhagen in collaboration with Galleri Christoffer Egelund and the city of Copenhagen. 

ARMORS incorporates three pairs of life-size sculptures that are made with assistance from and in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

As part of CONNECTIONS a sculpture is placed in Copenhagen at Strandgade 89 outside the Icelandic Embassy.

About the researcher and the artist 

Artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir

Steinunn is a trained sculptor from Portsmouth Fine Art Department, and Accademia di Belle in Bologna with over 40 years of professional experience.

She has exhibited widely in Europe, Japan, USA, and Australia, and her works are in private, public, and corporate collections around the globe.

Her work uses androgynous human figures to illustrate e.g., frailty, vulnerability, longing, and unity or solitude in human life.

She is a member of the Reykjavik Association of Sculptors and was awarded the Order of the Falcon in 2009 by the President of Iceland for her contribution to the Icelandic and international art communities.

DIAS Fellow Dr. James Rogers

James is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at SDU, and Associate Fellow within The London School of Economics and Political Science’s foreign policy think tank (LSE IDEAS).

He has been a Fellow at DIAS since 2018.  

His research has been featured by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Economist, CNN, Reuters, the Guardian, Rolling Stone Magazine, ABC News, Wired, and Gizmodo.

James is the presenter of the Untold History TV series on Dan Snow’s History Hit TV, a TEDx speaker, and a contributing expert to BBC Horizon, the History Channel and VICE.

More informartion

We invite you as a journalist/media to participate in the opening reception September 1st, 2021 from 15.00.

Here it will be possible to interview:

Dr. James Rogers
Artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir
Ambassador Helga Hauksdóttir
DIAS Director Marianne Holmer
If you are unable to participate please contact Communications Manager Marie Elisabeth Dam via maed(a) or via +45 9350 7588. She will help with contact and more information about the project.

For more information about this project and DIAS please follow our channels.

Editing was completed: 18.08.2021