Mark Tholander. Born 1988. Denmark.


The notion of what a community consists of is a focal point in my practice. My work revolves around what happens when societal cohesion steps out of normality, out of synchronicity - and whether we can create new communities in collective disorientation. My practice consists of collaborations, working with musicians and actors in a decentralized way. I often use absurdity as activism: A narratological approach about the transformative potentials for new communities that arise when synchronicity and sameness are displaced. I have previously shown my work at Kunsthal Aarhus (DK), Rencontres Internationales (FR), Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival (US), Art Sonje Center (KR), FILE – Electronic Language International Festival (BR) and Beijing International Short Film Festival (CN).

Mark Tholander

"Operating mainly in the realm of video installation, animation film and performance, Danish artist Mark Tholander navigates the liminal spaces between mediums, exploring the evolution from solitary film processes to an immersive and collaborative approach. As both creator and performer, the artist embraces a theatrical standpoint, weaving narratives that interplay individuality and society while expanding across different scales — from mundane situations to the spectre of catastrophe looming in the background.

Central to Tholander's work is the overarching theme of disjointedness - a fascination stemming from everyday occurrences and questioning connections, commonalities, and shared experiences in a world teetering between togetherness and fracture. This aspect of his work mirrors a constant state of tension, be it interpersonal or on a broader societal level, where elements take on different meanings at different times. The theme of family structures is central to the exposure of the dark facets of togetherness. What does it mean "to be familiar with," and is similarity sufficient for connection? The artist draws inspiration from theorists such as Sara Ahmed, Francois Laruelle, Donna Haraway and Giorgio Agamben, delving into kinship ideas and resistance strategies not solely rooted in a sense of community.

As a pragmatical reflection of this perspective, collaboration is a growingly important cornerstone of Tholander's practice. To create together with other artists is a dynamic interplay without a master plan, seeking a utopian standpoint where the community functions without a binding glue. The artist acknowledges the impossibility of this goal within an evaluating system based on output; yet, it remains an integral part of the investigation, embracing transition as an inherent aspect of the process. The working method itself is a rebellion against comfort, a deliberate effort to work "against" oneself by often actively choosing a de-skilled solution to a task.

In the universe crafted by Tholander, unnecessary elements, overload, and contradictions are not flaws but intentional choices, shaping a unique narrative that defies expectations. Rather than proposing new societal forms, Tholander’s aim is to promote an inquisitive approach, leaving the door ajar on the complexity of both the world we live in and his own artistic making. He invites viewers to witness the intricate construction of an open narrative, challenging them to embrace the potentiality in the imperfect, the aleatory, and the unresolved."

- Paola Paleari, curator

:: Education ::

:: 2014 - 2019
:: Jutland Art Academy. Aarhus, Denmark.

:: 2018
:: Royal Danish Academy of Art (Exchange). Copenhagen, Denmark.

:: 2017
:: Inter Arts Center (Internship). Malmo, Sweden.

:: Collections (represented at) ::

:: SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark).

:: Current and upcoming ::

:: 2023-2024: Part of the ArtEx Program (Talent Norge).
:: 2024: Solo exhibition at c4 projects, Copenhagen.
:: 2024: Duo exhibition at Kunsthal Aarhus, Aarhus.

:: Selected exhibitions / screenings ::

:: 2024
:: Post Territory Ujeongguk. Seoul, South Korea.

:: 2023
:: This Is Not a Church. Seoul, South Korea.
:: Spirefestival. Holbæk, Denmark.

:: 2022
:: Villa Kultur. Copenhagen, Denmark.
:: Re:present. New Media Artspace. New York, USA.
:: VEGA. In a collaboration between VEGA Arts & Art Hub Copenhagen. Copenhagen, Denmark.
:: Saigon Experimental Film Festival. Saigon, Vietnam.

:: 2021
:: OK Corral. Copenhagen, Denmark.
:: Art Sonje Center. Seoul, Korea.
:: Gravmonumenter. Kunsthal Aarhus. Aarhus, Denmark.
:: The Drums. Online exhibition, DobbeltDagger. Online.
:: Default Cube. KØS Museum for kunst i det offentlige rum. Denmark.

:: 2020
:: Samfund, Satire og Surrealisme. SAK Kunstbygning. Svendborg, Denmark.
:: DefaultCube. Storage and Kunsthal Aarhus. Aarhus, Denmark.
:: Ta·da. Copenhagen, Denmark.
:: LYS.MUR. Svendborg, Denmark.

:: 2019
:: Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin. The Paris-edition was taking place at Louvre Museum, Forum des images, Le Carreau du Temple and Centre Pompidou. Paris, France. The Berlin edition was held at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany.
:: FILE 2019 - Electronic Language International Festival. SESI Gallery of Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
:: New Other Odd. Copenhagen, Denmark.
:: STIFF: Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival. Seattle, USA.
:: BIDEODROMO International Experimental Film and Video Festival. Bilbao, Spain.
:: Leviathan. Curated by Piscine, in collaboration with Kunsthal Aarhus. Aarhus, Denmark.
:: Viborg Animation Festival. Viborg, Denmark.
:: Højbjerg & Simmelsgaard Gallery. Hobro, Denmark.
:: Korea Foundation Gallery. Seoul, Korea.
:: Hands Up. Galleri Blunk. Trondheim, Norway.

:: 2018
:: ORGANON Exhibition Space. Odense, Denmark.
:: Les Rencontres Traverse Video. Toulouse, France.
:: FILE 2018 - Electronic Language International Festival. SESI Gallery of Art. Sao Paolo, Brazil.
:: Fonlad Digital Art Festival 2018. Coimbra, Portugal.
:: OGA VideoArt Exhibitions 2018/2019. Rome, Italy.
:: Alt_Cph 2018. Copenhagen, Denmark.
:: Art By Numbers. Group show. KH7 Artspace. Aarhus, Denmark.
:: Pugnant Film Series. Athens, Greece.
:: Be a Pattern for the World. INCA Institute. Portland, USA.
:: The Great Poor Farm Experiment 2018. The Poor Farm. Wisconsin, USA.
:: STIFF, Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival. Seattle, USA.
:: KinoDrome Festival. Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
:: La Collezione Visionaria. Ospizio Giovani Artisti. Rome, Italy.
:: A Sweet Taste of Conspiracy. Part of Heiwata projects. Fuego cdmx. Mexico City, Mexico.

:: 2017
:: Captive Raum OPortal. Aarhus, Denmark.
:: The Final Exhibition. Copenhagen, Denmark.
:: FROSTBITE International Film Festival. Colorado, USA.
:: Imagineering. Adult. Copenhagen, Denmark.
:: FICMA (Festival Internacional de Cine con Medios Alternativos). Mexico City, Mexico.
:: The Mediterranean Film Festival (MedFF). Siracusa, Italy.
:: Beijing International Short Film Festival. Beijing, China.
:: MADATAC 09. Madrid, Spain.
:: NEOS Fest. Puebla, Mexico.
:: Ung Dansk Fotografi 17. Fotografisk Center. Copenhagen, Denmark.

:: 2016
:: RUM 1. Published by ORAUM. Online.
:: HearteartH Festival. Berlin, Germany.
:: Calculation. Nordic Contemporary Art. Kurgan Regional Art Museum. Kurgan, Russia.
:: FILE 2016 - Electronic Language International Festival. Sao Paolo, Brazil.
:: 9th International Exhibition of Contemporary Art "ENTRESILOS". Museum of the Silo Villacanas, Toledo, Spain.
:: The Weather is too Predictable. Piscine, Kunsthal Aarhus. Aarhus, Denmark.
:: VIII Tashkent Biennale of Contemporary Art. Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
:: The Conference. Piscine, Kunsthal Aarhus. Aarhus, Denmark.

:: 2015
:: Comfy Shorts. Movie Theatre. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
:: Habitat Art Cinema 3.5. Svendborg, Denmark.
:: ProxyACT International Short Film Festival. London, England.
:: Phase One Electronic Music and Arts Festival 2015. The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland.
:: Fonlad Digital Art Festival 2015. Coimbra, Portugal.
:: Art Weekend Aarhus. SITE Exhibition. Aarhus, Denmark.
:: Transborda Overflow 2015. Alcobaca, Portugal.
:: FILE 2015 - Electronic Language International Festival. Sao Paulo, Brazil.
:: CURRENTS 2015: 6th Santa Fe International New Media Festival. Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
:: Vagrant Film Festival. Belarus.
:: Videograma Festival. Festival Internacional de Video Arte 2015. Bogota, Columbia, and Pereira, Colombia.
:: HearteartH. Presented at Berliner Liste - Fair for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany, and at Cel AV, Video a Konvent, Barcelona, Spain.
:: FACT & Channels 2015 Shortlist. Liverpool, England.
:: FIVA (Festival Internacional De Videoarte). Shown in the auditorium David Vinas of the Museum Book and Language, and in the Jorge Luis Borges auditorium at the National Library of Argentina. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

:: 2014
:: FOKUS 2014 Video Art Festival (Nominated by the jury). Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen, Denmark.
:: Bite Vilnius 2014. Vilnius, Lithuania.
:: St. Louis film festival. St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
:: 6th Cairo Video Festival. Cairo, Egypt.
:: 6th namaTREba Biennial. Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
:: 10th SIMULTAN Festival. Cetate Synagogue, Timisoara, Romania.
:: 5th Siliguri International Short Film and Documentary Contest 2014. Siliguri, West Bengal, India.
:: Habitat Art Cinema 2. Odense, Denmark.
:: Aarhus Independent Pixels. Aarhus, Denmark.
:: Aarhus Filmfestival. Aarhus, Denmark.
:: 9th Streaming Festival. Online.

:: 2013
:: Fatter & Fabrikken Gallery. Solo Exhibition. Copenhagen, Denmark.
:: Top Ten list, MFA Thesis Exhibition. Art, Design, and Architecture Museum, UC, Santa Barbara, USA.
:: "Art is the world". Group Exhibition. Suffolk, England.
:: The Wrong - New Digital Art Biennale. Paradise Hills Gallery. Melbourne, Australia.

:: 2012
:: Selected contributor to Lars von Triers art film Disaster 501 What Happened to Man?, directed by Jenle Hallund. Premiered at Kunsthal Charlottenborg. Later played at Tous Ecrans Festival, Switzerland and Goteborg International Film Festival, Sweden.

:: 2011
:: Solo Exhibiton in the Cobra Room at Art Museum Sophienholm. Lyngby, Denmark.
:: Group Exhibition. Logn Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Prizes and grants:

:: 2022
:: Longlisted for the 2022 Lumen Prize.

:: 2019
:: 15. Juni Fondens hæderspris (15 June Fund Honorary Award). Link.

:: 2017
:: Prize for Best Experimental Film at FROSTBITE International Indie Fest, USA.

:: 2016
:: Årets Kunstnerdrevne Udstillingssted (given to exhibition platform ORAUM) by BKF Billedkunstnernes Forbund. Link.

:: Bibliography ::

:: 2019
:: håndbog i tegning. Published by Radiato & Antipyrine Distribution. ISBN-13: 9788797113004. ISBN-10: 8797113004.
Included in the list De skønneste kunstnerbøger i 2019 written by Maria Kjær Themsen in Dagbladet Information. Link.

:: Contributions to publications ::

2020: Addenda #6 (Tidsskrift for ny litteratur). Link.
2018: OEI # 82-83: Art in the Age of Kleptomania. Link.
2016: Kulturo #41. Link.

:: Teaching ::

:: Aalborg University, Art & Technology.
:: VIA University College.
:: The Animation Workshop, Viborg (The Drawing Academy).
:: Jutland Art Academy.

:: Artist Talks ::

:: Free Lunch. VEGA, in collaboration with Art Hub Copenhagen.
:: DIAS Kunsthal.
:: Rencontres Internationales Paris. Forum des images, Paris, France.

:: Articles, interviews and other mentions ::

:: Interview: Unge Kunstnerstemmer (

:: Udstilling i Kina sætter fokus på liv på jorden (Dansk Kulturinstitut)

:: Tre nyuddannede kunstnere modtager hæderspris (

:: De skønneste kunstnerbøger i 2019 (Information)

:: Milliondonation styrker SMK’s samling og dansk samtidskunst (Statens Museum for Kunst)

:: Anmeldelse: Unge fotografer eksperimenterer med fotoets grænser (Politiken)

:: Documentation: Leviathan (Contemporary Art Daily)

:: Et tilbageblik på byrumsudstillingen Leviathan (I Do Art)

:: Be a Pattern for the World: A Conversation Between Piscine and Bergman & Salinas (I Do Art)

:: Other ::

2019 - present: Member of Kunstnersamfundet
2018 - 2019: Board member of The Jutland Art Academy, Aarhus, Denmark.
2016 - present: Board member of UKK (
2016 - present: Member of ORAUM (exhibition format). Denmark.
2015 - 2020: Member of Piscine. Aarhus, Denmark (
2015 - 2017: Organizer of Theoretical Tuesdays at Rum46, Aarhus, in collaboration with Michael Roloff (
2011 - 2012: Co-creator of = Logn Gallery. Copenhagen, Denmark (closed in 2012).

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