Welcome consists of a base of cement, an iron pipe, and a red lightbox with yellow text that reads, “Welcome.” During daylight hours, the batteries in the lightbox are charged by solar cells that light up the text after dark. Taking her starting point in the current locality of the work and the surroundings that Bledsoe comprises (imagine collapsing barns, oil drills, and desert scenery), Hove designed a site-specific and illuminated sculpture that takes the shape of a truck-stop beacon. According to the artist, she wanted to “create a scenery where random passersby on their way to and from Bledsoe might wonder about the message, design, and location of the sign.” An object such as this in the middle of nowhere might seem completely detached and isolated from its surroundings; but for someone who is alone, it might also insistently light up the rugged surroundings, providing fertile soil for optimism— and perhaps even a brighter future for the area. On the other hand, the sign might seem to be so mislocated that its cinematic characteristics are emphasized; to a viewer, it could heighten Bledsoe’s surreal and abandoned identity to a disturbing degree, perhaps even making the viewer doubt the sign’s very assertion of welcome.
Heidi Hove (b. 01976) lives and works in Copenhagen (DK). In 2007, she graduated from Funen Art Academy (DK) and California College of Arts (US). She has exhibited her works in various contexts in Europe and the United States such as The Turku Biennial 2013 (FI), Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen (DK), The Art Laboratory Berlin (DE), Cultural Center CK in Skopje (MK), and the Lab in San Francisco (US). Besides that, she has produced a number of public artworks, such as a giant ‘welcoming’ light sculpture in the desert near Bledsoe, Texas (US), a social sculpture in the form of a memorial bench near the Factory of Art and Design, Copenhagen (DK) and a historical town gate for a thoroughfare in the heterogeneous neighborhood of Ålekistevej in Vanløse (DK). In 2012 and 2013, she was rewarded a working grant from the Danish Arts Foundation and also nominated as the winner of the Turku Biennial 2013.Besides her individual practice, Heidi has been involved in different curatorial projects. She co-curated, along with Jens Axel Beck (DK) the award-winning exhibition, Local Global Plan in the public space of Vanløse (DK) in 2011 and since 2007, she is co-curating the international Deadpan Exchange series with Jonn Herschend (US). Furthermore, she is co-founder of the artist initiatives, Koh-i-noor from 2004 and since 2012, the Exhibition Space Sydhavn Station with the exceptional location at the S-train station of South Habour in Copenhagen.
- This project is supported by a generous grant from The Danish Arts Council