Summer Scammer
Ragnhild May
2021.7.30– 2021.8.22

Photos by Brian Kure

Summer Scammer

Summer Scammer
Ragnhild May
7.30.2021 – 8.22.2021

“To do, is to act, so all doers are actors. “
Confidence Man, Herman Melville

Sol presents the exhibition Summer Scammer by Ragnhild May.

Who is Anna Delvey? Two answers are given: A) a German millionaire heiress with the ambition to found an institution of contemporary art in New York City, or B) a Russian woman, with the real name Anna Sorokin, who managed to scam her way around the Jet Set, banks and hotels of New York to pay for her luxurious life style. Anna Delvey was charged with the latter in 2017 and the trial in 2019 was given great attention in the fashion industry because she showed up in court styled in one designer outfit after the other. Due to good behaviour in the prison, Anna Delvey was given probation during winter 2021 – but after one month it was assessed that she had not improved her attitude, based on the activity seen on her Instagram account, where she was publicly acting out the life as a scammer on the loose with no regrets. During the short time Delvey was on probation she was followed by a film crew and she promoted the sale of the rights to her history, by now owned by Netflix. Where media had written her off as a ‘con artist’ before, they now used the term ‘performance artist’.

The word ‘performance’ is changing. In the middle of the previous century it was used to describe a certain art form ‘performance art’, but now it is used to describe several things that all are rooted in the course of time: a single action, a general practise, production and success. The Art Historian Marie de Brugerolle writes in her essay POST-PERFORMANCE FUTURE that the performance genre is not only about mythographic actions made by isolated artists, but:

"It is about dealing with new forms, collective authorship, awareness of business, and the expenditure of time as a new currency.(...) It is about regarding the object as an art piece when activated and acted, “post-action” , when it had “performed the function.” And it is about gossips as the real history of art.”

In the exhibition Summer Scammer Ragnhild May unfolds the term performance through both sculpture and video, placed in different locations. At the field in front of Sol May shows the work The whole Ear of Denmark is rankly abused!. The title stems from Shakespeares’ Hamlet where a recurring theme is that words mediate deception. Is there really any difference between pretending and acting, faking and performing? With her content, May creates a speculative and entangled network of references to both scamming, staging and dressing. A part of the exhibition has been moved to the fashion store in Nexø, ACHTUNG, where the video Wannabees will be screened; a montage consisting of home videos sent in to a Spice Girls contest in 1997 where Danish girls dressed up, danced and mimicked their idols, with the hope of winning tickets to the up coming Spice Girls concert.

Rumor has it that Ragnhild May (b. 1990, DK) received her MFA from Bard College (US) with additional studies at The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (SE), and Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (AT). Ragnhild May has had many international exhibitions and Summer Scammer in Sol will be Mays’ first solo show in Denmark. Since 2020 Ragnhild May is represented by Alice Folker Gallery.

Summer Scammer is curated and organised by artists Signe Boe and Sofie Amalie Andersen for the exhibition space Sol. The exhibition is supported by Bank of Materials, ZURFACE, The Danish Art Foundation, Øernes Kunstfond, The Obel Family Foundation and Møbelfabrikken i Nexø.

The exhibition in Sol can be visited on Fridays between 15h - 17h as well as Saturdays and Sundays from 12h - 15h.
The store ACHTUNG is open every day from 11h - 18h. ACHTUNG is located at Nordre Strandvej 4 in Nexø.