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The exhibition 'Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller: United Alternative Energies', the most comprehensive presentation of the duo's work to date, presents ten works of which four are new productions.

The Swiss duo has investigated the concept of energy for several years. One of their main areas of interest is the history of oil and its competing alternatives, notably solar energy. Often involving historical research, remembrance, performance and film, their projects focus in particular on the politics of oil, energy crises, and the pursuit of new technology.

Their work often provides an opportunity to revitalize key historical moments. For example, the 66 minute documentary essay ‘A Road Not Taken’ (2010) examines former US President Jimmy Carter’s early and ultimately futile efforts to raise awareness about oil dependency, as symbolized by the installation, in 1979, of solar panels on the White House roof.

Also featured in the exhibition is 'No.1 Sun Engine' (2008–9) produced for the 11th Cairo International Biennale. In 1913, American inventor Frank Shuman inaugurated the first large-scale solar power generator near Cairo, Egypt. Although it was economically viable compared to coal power, the plant was only used for one year. The artists reconstructed two segments of this pioneering facility and established an information kiosk where local residents and passers-by could discover and contribute to its story.

'Globalising the Internationale' (2006–ongoing) is a choral work which refers to the songs of socialism and the workers' movements – one of the most widespread social upheavals of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. With this project, the artists aim to use the collective force of the human voice to herald a new age of alternative energy beyond fossil fuels.

The exhibition is one of 5 exhibition proposals selected from approximately 600 submissions received in response to the Aarhus Art Building's open call for their 2011 program, entitled 'Imagine: Towards an Eco-Aesthetic'.

The exhibition is accompanied by a small 36 page publication in English/Danish edited by Latitudes.

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Texts: Latitudes |
Photo: Latitudes |