Stine Deja DK, b. 1986

Stine Deja’s (b. 1986, DK) work explores the effects of technological development, relative to our psychology, living conditions and patterns of behaviour. Combining extensive conceptual research with an otherworldly aesthetic and satirical wit, Deja’s work offers an absurd and critical perspective on the future of human culture.

Working across a variety of different media that includes total installation, kinetic sculpture, sound installation, video, 3D animation and text-based work, Deja’s practice often focuses on the intersection between human biology and digital technology. Previous bodies of work have engaged with the commercial cryogenics industry, in vitro fertilisation treatments, prosthetic enhancements to the human form and the potential for migrating human and animal consciousness to digital avatars. In each case, Deja infuses narratives of progress and opportunity with a sense of stasis, ennui and an uncanny sense of self-awareness.

Much of Deja’s work focuses on the relationship between human emotional complexes, our motivations and obligations, and the mechanisms we enlist to help us achieve the things we want. Ideas of fantasy and desire play a crucial role in this work, as does a veiled sense of eroticism that emerges in unexpected ways as part of nuanced discussions about the relationship between humans and machines. The figures that appear in Deja’s universe are often hybridised (human-shaped but made of welded steel and backlit displays), fragmented or partially obscured – recognisable only by their blinking eyes or vocal expressions. Signifiers of specific identities are left purposefully ambiguous.

This sense of non-specificity also extends to Deja’s treatment of time and place. Although several works directly address a sense of contemporary ecological crisis, and others hint at an idea of post-human apocalypse, time in Deja’s universe most commonly favours a looping structure. As viewers we enter into sequences that seem to have always been in motion and will continue for eternity, unless the surrounding environment floods, freezes or burns up.

Stine Deja is a visual artist based in Copenhagen (DK). Deja’s work is included in the collections of Arken Museum for Contemporary Art, Esbjerg Kunstmuseum and the New Carlsberg Foundation. Previous institutional exhibitions of the artist’s work have been held at: Fuglsang Kunstmuseum (Toreby; DK), Politikens Forhal (Copenhagen; DK), Vestjyllands Kunstpavillion (Videbæk; DK), Tranen (Gentofte; DK), Kristianstad Museum (Kristianstad; SE), PINKOU (Shanghai; CN), Esbjerg Kunstmuseum (Esbjerg; DK), Art Sonje Center (Seoul, KR) and Jinan Art Museum (Jinan; CN).