Danish art tries to rethink epidemics

On September 8, the National gallery of Denmark (SMK) in Copenhagen opened the exhibition “A Changed World”. 25 works from the Museum’s collection tell the story of how epidemics affect the life of mankind over the centuries.

by Alena Rodicheva

The exhibits are easily found by the pink and white signs next to them. Photo by Alena Rodicheva

Next to each piece of art, visitors will find a sign with a description and historical reference. Remembering the experience of dealing with different diseases from the Black Death of the 14th century to the AIDS in the 20th is most useful during the second wave of coronavirus infection, which now continues to affect the everyday life of people from all over the world.

“The corona pandemic has changed our everyday lives, our ways of being together, our habits and thoughts. We wanted to use the experience of previous generations to get more knowledge on how we can deal with our changed world,” explains Annette Hvidt, art interpreter from SMK.

The exhibition also aims to show that epidemics bring not only grief from premature death of people, but scientific progress associated with the emergence of new medicines and vaccines, changes in attitudes to hygiene, lifestyle and worldview.

The exhibition lasts from September 8 till November 22.

When you follow the trail through the collection you will find that the 25 works of art in a way acts as “openers” to other works in the rooms that might catch your interest in regard to look through the lens of pandemics. Photo by Alena Rodicheva