~Join our Mailing List~

Sif Hedegård 

June 2022

Cleanliness is a modern day clown-act depicting struggles and worries of becoming or being a good person.

Cleanliness is not only being free of grime and germs. It is keeping yourself and your surroundings clean, tidy and orderly. It is living orderly, and morally right, and presenting yourself to society in bodily harmony.

But the clown is gazing in the mirror and sees the dirty other.
Looking for where the pain is situated and getting stuck in unclean positions. Handling objects that are too big to be handled.
An umbrella is a shield for crying behind.
A chain makes an obstacle course on the floor. The drain is shallow, keeping sorrows close to the surface.

They say cleanliness is next to godliness - but I say it's next to impossible

Photo credit: Lena Bergendahl

Sif Hedegård (b. 1986) is a Danish artist who in her performative work deals with memories and traumas, and how these exist in different systems, in everything from institutions to the inner mental, bodily and private. She works with this in interactions with different materials in sculptural installations, through performative actions that seem to have inner logic, sometimes of a tragic, comic or transgressive nature.

This performance is a continuation of an investigation of the clown character.

Hedegård has formerly performed and exhibited at performanceRUM (Aarhus), Friisland, Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, Alt_Cph, c4 projects, all in Copenhagen, Hot Dock project space (Bratislava), I:project space (Beijing) and Shanaynay (Paris). She was born and raised and lives in Copenhagen and was educated at the Funen Art Academy in 2015.

The fairly quick disappearance of the state-organised rules and regulations relating to social distancing and sanitation protocols has left us in a very different situation compared with just a few months ago. Just five months after our first performance in a long time we now present the second performance of 2022 as part of the ‘Proximity by Proxy’ series at Celsius Projects with Sif Hedegård who is based in Copenhagen. Between Denmark and Sweden the rules that decided how close we could be, how many we could be, where we could be and what activities we could do, changed on a monthly or weekly basis.
The last few years we became accustomed to these rules continually changing, sometimes as an official state endorsed sanction but other times as an unspoken but agreed upon new set of behaviours. The line for measuring our accordance to a socially acceptable way of acting, moving and being in proximity to each other, whilst constantly moving, has become more visible than ever.
Northern Europe may now be freed from one global pandemic but the sociological and biological limitations that continue to constrain and contain our bodies are still in place. In order to expel our fears of bodily invasion we increased and expanded our usual routines for cleanliness; to be a moral human was also to be a clean human; to be a responsible human also meant to be a distanced human. We ask now how can we be together again, share bodily space, be in a community and be clean?

/ Francis Patrick Brady

The series Proximity by Proxy is made possible with generous support from:

Celsius Projects, Celsiusgatan 45, 212 14 Malmö