Stine Bidstrup was an AiR in S12 during February – March 2013. She is a Danish artist whose work explores optical phenomena and interprets and brings old ideas about utopian social and architectural visions to life through glass sculpture and installations. She has also been addressing cultural remix, as she transforms Indian traditional bracelets, reinterpreting them as networks and meshes that are a part of the language of the 21st century.
Her curiosity revolves around the power of perception, of context and point of view when constructing our understanding through vision and how the human eye and mind are always engaged in myriad determinations and negotiations.
Bidstrup came to Bergen open to letting the mountainous landscape around the city provide a backdrop for a revival of a specific architectural glass fantasy based on a series of visions by the German writer Paul Scheerbart (1863-1915) and the German architect Bruno Taut (1880-1938). The Crystal Chain was a correspondence between a small group of likeminded architects and artists instigated by Bruno Taut in 1919-20 to discuss how architecture of the future could be shaped. It was essentially an artistic enterprise, as they did not intend for anything that they proposed to be built, nor did they intend to solve material structural problems, but simply use their skills as thinkers to describe an impossible world as a philosophical exercise. Through series of secretly kept, imaginative letters and fabulating drawings, they envisioned an ideal society built entirely out of colored glass and steel as gigantic crystalline constructions providing kaleidoscopic effects on the mountain tops of Europe. This world made entirely out of glass was not, however, transparent, but translucent, colorful and constantly changing. It was a softly glowing glass fantasy, a “ghostly illumination”, and thus, not creating an illusion of complete transparency, so central to the myth of capitalism and the glass architecture we know from the urban cityscapes of today.
Bistrup created three collection of works during her residency, “Kristallhaus in dem Bergen”, “Ghostly Illumination” and “Glass Mountain”, all being attempts to give physical form to the written thoughts of Scheerbart and Taut. She was interested in the questions that emerge when reinterpreting a series of past ideas and postulating through the use of the format of sculptural models made of glass and light that suggest a transformation of scale in the imagination of the viewer. The work was driven by her curiosity and wish to understand and visually interpret the construction, scope and complexity of utopian ideas.
Most of the works Bidstrup created in S12 have later been sold to collectors and one of the sculptures was acquired by the Hempel Glasmuseum in Denmark in connection with the Hempel Prize.
Currently she is working on her upcoming solo show at the Heller Gallery in NYC www.hellergallery.com/ in September 2018. The works presented will be a continuation of the works she did during her residency at S12 with the series of works entitled Architectural Glass Fantasies.
Bidstrup has taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, School of Design on Bornholm since 2009, and was a visiting lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015. Together with fellow Copenhagen-based glass artists she founded the collaborative studio Luftkraft Glass Studio in 2007. Her work has been exhibited nationally and worldwide for the past 15 years. In 2018 Bidstrup joined the exhibition council at the Glass Museum Ebeltoft.