MIE OLISE in her studio.

i spent sunday afternoon hanging out in MIE OLISE‘S studio in bushwick. mie is a danish artist that i interviewed for cheap & plastique a few years ago (see interview here). when we did our q & a she was living in london and had just been in the spotlight because of her nomination for a new british art prize, new sensations. video here.

after my initial email interview i had the pleasure of meeting mie (she has been on a few residencies here in nyc), we attended mark leckey’s lecture at the guggenheim together a couple of years ago, and i instantly felt like i had known her for years! she is a very warm and friendly human and in a few hours we managed to share our life histories and talk about our future hopes and dreams. since our first meeting mie has traveled to many different parts of the world and has been working on some amazing projects, & generally living a rather inspired life!

her current body of work is multi-faceted and includes installation, sound, film, and painting. the work investigates the life of 2 esben arnakkes, one esben is a danish novelist who lived a quite adventurous life himself (fleeing denmark for new foundland, canada as a castaway on a ship), the 2nd esben is mie’s family’s boat, which was named after the fugitive/writer esben arnakke built by mie’s father (where mie spent a good deal of her childhood).

with this project mie has begun a journey searching for both esbens. she ventured to new foundland to find clues about the life of the the man esben. she spoke with a 96 year old man who was the son of the man who rescued esben. he showed mie a suitcase of artifacts left behind by his father relating to his friendship with the writer. mie is also attempting to trace the whereabouts of the boat from her childhood, looking for leads by questioning people throughout scandinavia and europe. her family has not been in possession of the boat since 1986.

the work currently in her studio, including a few large paintings of ships, an installation piece with two record players (which plays an old sea shanty that mie remembers her dad singing when they were on the ship together, this version of the song composed by twins, who are friends of the artist), and stills from a couple of 8mm films, all tie in to her search for the truth and whereabouts of the esben arnakkes.

please check out mie’s website to see more of her work.


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