Everything we see is in the past

23 April – 23 Maj 2021

Exhibition venue Sydhavn Station


The exhibition Everything we see is in the past takes place at Sydhavn Station, a transit vicinity for both locals and travellers, at a train station where time is an important focal point. A determinant for whether we and the trains are on time – or arrive late. Although a large part of our lives is governed by time, we have never succeeded in inventing a watch that is fully accurate. This continues to be a scientific puzzle in our understanding of the world: The fact that no one has been successful in explaining what time is! Time is the reason that we experience development as something that is irreversible, and that we have a feeling of continuity. However, according to the laws of physics, time is an illusion. Our sense of time depends on context, and our understanding of the concept will differ from person to person, through differences in our individual cognitive experience of time. Time can be affected be gravity or movement. Things we observe will always be “in the past”, as it takes time for the light to move from what we see to what we consciously perceive. The present is therefore an illusion.


The exhibition objects try to freeze the moment in order to perpetuate it, thereby prolonging the present and postpone the inevitable; the loss of eternity. Everything we see is in the past (Alt hvad vi ser er fortid) is a memento mori celebrating everyday objects. Inexpensive ordinary materials are transformed, creating as space where the poetic potential in everyday objects is emphasized through a hopeless investment in an extreme elucidation of the beauty in things that we normally take for granted. The work balances between the banal and the existential – between ordinary goods from Netto and death as a basic condition. An attempt to hold on to the moment that passes, in order to preserve it.


The posters and the billboard outside the exhibition room carries a statement inspired by the artists’ personal notes, which are also displayed in the exhibition room. Posters and billboards that usually convey advertisements here become a kind of randomized personal statements placed in a location serving as a transit place for both people and time.

The exhibition has been supported by Kgs. Enghave Lokaludvalg og Københavns Kommunes Råd for Visuel Kunst. Posters and billboard has been supported by Augustinus Fonden.


Photos: Jenny Sundby




Everything we see is in the past, Installation shot.

Photo: Jenny Sundby