Sophia Ioannou Gjerding (3 VIDEOS) Homage to Airway :: The Luxury of Choosing Pain  :: Haunting Prop-blem / Sunny BeamS

Homage to Airway takes its starting point in a 1920s photograph depicting the dog Airway, who was part pet, part lab animal to two anaesthesiologists. Their tests on Airway led to the development of a device which serves to open the patient’s airways. The invention became known as Guedel’s Airway, named after both the doctor and dog involved. Airway can be a reference to air travel and human respiration alike, but is also the name of a dog. The work also takes its point of departure in a sculpture created by Friedrich Wilhelm Wolff in 1847: a satirical bronze sculpture depicting Germany’s first experiment with anaesthesia, conducted on an old, blind bear in the Berlin zoo. In the centre of the sculpture, we see the bear surrounded by various animals. Clad in human clothes, the animals have features pointing to the various doctors involved in the experiment.

The Luxury of Choosing Pain explore the relationship between being an image, being a being and being a body. In the film, we follow a camera's gaze as it hovers around an area populated by virtual characters: in one scene, we encounter a cyborg statue with a glass eye, the glass eye being modelled on a specific kind of glass eye manufactured for the French war veterans called Gueules Cassées, the broken faces, after the end of the first world war.


In another scene we are presented with plants, who use flute sounds as their primary way of communication. Through references to historical phenomena and by engaging with what characterises the organic and the synthetic beings respectively, Gjerding asks a number of questions about the non-human gaze and the haunting, or animism, related to virtual existences.


Haunting Prop-blem / Sunny Beams investigates the relationship between prosthesis, image and body. The viewer encounters a number of characters who all have an alienating relationship with themselves, their bodies and limbs. The video is accompanied by a poem, written by Gjerding herself.



Sophia Ioannou Gjerding was born in 1989 and lives and works in Copenhagen, Danmark. Sophia Ioannou Gjerding (MA in Fine Art, Jutland Art Academy, Denmark) is an artist working in Copenhagen, Denmark. In her practice, Sophia Ioannou Gjerding strives to understand contemporary cultural image production and how recent imaging technology creates new visual perspectives and spatial dimensions. Her works investigate correspondence and coincidences between different, often opposing images and ideas, such as the domesticated in relation to the wild or the physical to the metaphysical. Gjerding draws images from their specific context and into new animated compositions, soundscapes, and installations as part of a continuous examination of and reflection on our contemporary image world.