Miriam Sentler – The Horrific History of Erik Thorvaldsson

The Horrific History of Erik Thorvaldsson by Miriam Sentler details the story of the man who discovered Greenland and the dubious way in which he founded the country. Having been banished from Iceland, he sailed northward to discover a desolate and icy landscape.

Exhibition The Horrific History of Erik Thorvaldsson
Artist(s) Miriam Sentler

Unable to deal with the loneliness, he named it Greenland, in an effort to fool his countrymen into sailing North with him towards what they thought is a beautifully flourishing land. Twenty four ships sailed with him, of which only twelve reached their destination.

During the exhibition, the visitors were assisted in putting on the fishermen gloves and reaching for the ficitional travel diary in the aquarium. Because of the high water pressure, the visitor was forced to handle the book very carefully, in the same way one would handle an important antique object.

In her work, Miriam Sentler is constantly in search of moments by following her intuition. She finds them by travelling physically, as well as mentally. The starting point of Sentlers work is often a subtle moment, that lingers in her mind because it evoked a kind of memory, association or desire.
The influence people have on their surroundings and the world in general, fascinates her. In her work she examines the world in its entirety, by collecting and referring to personal experiences. She is not using a certain medium but researches the elements she brings from her travels in a broad and elaborate way, in which she drifts between the role of the explorer and the ‘bricoleur’ (Lévi-Strauss, 1962). During the research in her studio she creates new contexts which are open to the public at a very early stage, making it possible for others to take part in the projects. By doing this, the work loses his strictly autobiographical nature and connects to other histories and associations. Miriam tries to reconstruct or reinvent the moments she finds interesting by making them tangible, an experience.

Miriam (born 1994 in Stolberg, Germany) recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Academy of Fine Arts Maastricht (NL) and is currently living in London (UK). She is planning to start a master in 2018.

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Tique | publication on contemporary art #3: Six Questions