Jacob Kirkegaard

Jacob Kirkegaard (b. 1975, Denmark) lives and works in Berlin. He is an artist and composer who works in carefully selected environments to generate recordings that are used in compositions, or combined with video imagery in visual and spatial installations. His works reveal unheard sonic phenomena and present listening as a means of experiencing the world. Kirkegaard has recorded sonic environments as different as subterranean geyser vibrations, empty rooms in Chernobyl, Arctic calving glaciers, and tones generated by the human inner ear itself. Kirkegaard is a graduate of the Academy for Media Arts in Cologne, Germany. His first retrospective solo exhibition was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde (2015). He has presented works at galleries, museums, and concert spaces throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Louisiana, Denmark; KW, Berlin; the Menil Collection and Rothko Chapel, Houston; the Aichi Triennale, Nagoya; and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. His sound works have been released on the TOUCH, Important Records, VON Archives, and Posh Isolation labels.

TRISTELEG # 1 – 3, 2013
Video, 13 min; 3 paper manuals
Courtesy of the artist.

Jacob Kirkegaard’s TRISTELEG # 1 – 3 is a recollection of some games that the artist’s cousin invented and performed with him in the early ’80s when they were children. Each game consisted of a simple, but strictly defined set of activities involving two people.

Kirkegaard remembers that these activities had absolutely no purpose apart from the importance of being carried out with precise timing and an apathetic face. His cousin called this “tristeleg” (sadness game). Thirty years later, Kirkegaard tries to recreate the games as he remembers them. By presenting them as short video clips with additional “manuals” he intends to invite everyone to perform the same activities at any time and place.


TRISTELEG # 1 – 3 (2013), Installation view Hasselblad Center, GIBCA 2015. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler