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Margrethe Troensegaard

MA work

Form of Resistance: A Living Monument

This study sets out to examine Gramsci Monument (2013), the fourth and final in a series of monuments constructed by Thomas Hirschhorn, from a form-oriented perspective. This was done in order to identify the sculptural premises of the work and to evaluate to what extent this project really did establish a new term of monument, as Hirschhorn proclaimed. The second objective of the study was to assess the role of Dia Art Foundation (Dia) as exhibiting institution. The analysis of Gramsci Monument was based on my personal observation and professional experience through a temporary collaboration with Dia on this project, and a number of site visits during the running of the monument (1 July – 15 September, 2013), in conjunction with the sculptural theories of Alois Riegl, Rosalind Krauss, and the writings of more recent scholars, Miwon Kwon and Claire Bishop. Through an examination of the location, materiality, and function of Gramsci Monument, and the role of Hirschhorn as artist, I have argued that these components were all subsumed by the same aesthetics, and that the social, commemorative and event-based element of this monument were thus as integral to its medium as its physical traits. Hirschhorn’s active employment of the social as form was the element that strongest redefined the monument as a sculptural category. This expanded notion of form extended into the exhibiting institution by dictating the manner of its engagement; Dia’s role was that of an invisible facilitator with a personal investment. Gramsci Monument hereby challenged the notion of ‘curator’, ‘exhibition’ and ‘audience’ as distinctive and distinguishable categories and instituted a temporary but fully functioning institution based on the ideology of the encounter. This monument was consecrated not just to the commemoration of Gramsci, but also to the assertion of the necessity of resistance within forms, whether institutional, sculptural or social.


  • Margarethe Troensegaard
  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2014

  • At the core of my curatorial practice and academic research lies an interest in the overlap between audience, institution and exhibition, and in the extended and abstract forms that these concepts may take. 

    My experience stems from a wide range of institutions, and tying these various positions and projects together is a clear emphasis on audience. This interest has branched into different research tropes over the past years, one of which is the monument. My MA dissertation thus looked into the contemporary state of the monument through the scope of Thomas Hirschhorn's recent Gramsci Monument in the Bronx, New York, 2013. This marked a direct continuation of a previous essay looking into the institutional, artistic and political implications of Jeanne van Heesvijk's 2Up 2Down, a community land trust and co-operative bakery commissioned by the Liverpool Biennial in 2012. The particular focus of both research projects was the role of the art institution in relation to the fleeting and unstable state of this formerly so solidly consolidated artistic form, and an examination of the the audience as an integral part of the medium of these monuments. 

    I am looking to develop this monuments project further over the coming years, both through curatorial and academic practice, the two of which I see as mutually dependent. 

  • Degrees

  • BA Art History, University of Copenhagen and Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2009
  • Experience

  • Curatorial assistant, Dia Art Foundation, New York City, 2012; Researcher and project coordinator: Danish Pavilion, Venice Biennial, Jesper Just Studio, New York, 2013; Curator, Raaderum - mobile office for contemporary art, Copenhagen, 2010–12; Education department, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, 2008–11; Research assistant, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Women of the Avant-Garde), Humlebæk, Denmark, 2011; Education department, GL STRAND, Copenhagen, 2008–9; Assistant, CopenArt Auctions, Copenhagen, 2008–9; Co-organiser and speaker, Visualising Asian Modernity, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen
  • Exhibitions

  • … all silent but for the buzzing … , Royal College of Art, London, 2014; Tracing the Tacit, Escalator Retreat no. 13, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, 2013; Thomas Hirschhorn: Gramsci Monument, Dia Art Foundation, New York City, 2012; Bifrost, Roskilde Festival, 2011; Anselm Kiefer, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, 2010; Make Yourself at Home, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 2010; Faites comme chez vous, Raw Material Company, Dakar, Senegal, 2011; George Osodi: Oil Rich Niger Delta, Raw Material Company, Dakar, Senegal, 2011; Absolut Avantgarde? Franciska Clausen 1921-1931, Øregaard Museum, Hellerup, Denmark, 2010; Svend Hammershøi, Øregaard Museum, Hellerup, Denmark, 2008
  • Awards

  • Danish Arts Council: Curatorial Residency, Dakar, 2011; Fulbright Joint Grant: Columbia University, GSAS, 2011-12;
  • Conferences

  • Visualizing Asian Modernity; Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, 2009
  • Publications

  • Oracle Bones (TBC), collaboration with artist Ruth Höflich, forthcoming 2014; 'Relocating a Gesture', Introduction to exhibition publication, Faites comme chez vous, Raw Material Company, 2011