Sirens (2015) by Steffen Jørgensen, Robert Kjær Clausen, and Allan Nicolaisen is part sit-com, part murder-mystery, part sci-fi thriller. An animated narrative of a butterfly developing from larva, to cocoon, before it flies from its branch runs parallel to the story’s central thread – a clash between an older mythological creature and more recent ones.
A mermaid appears, unnoticed and dead, in a swimming pool in a small concrete plastered suburban backyard. A group of lifeguards greet special agents Fitzo and Pretzel who arrive at the crime scene. During their brief investigation of the dead body they ponder “Was she raped?”, “I think she was a virgin”, concluding “I wouldn’t make sushi of her.”
As the televisual ensemble grapples with solving the mystery, a type of Waiting for Godot scenario plays out in which identities first crumble, then rupture completely. As it turns out, the body from the pool is not the first dead Siren. In a moment of frustration Fitzo shoots at the butterfly, piercing its wings. Tensions escalate as wave after wave of existential realizations roll in. Pretzel resorts to rap music, while one lifeguard takes up drinking, and another tries to come to terms with the boredom and artifice of her existence. The characters in Sirens raise a series of questions about the nature of pretending, posing, and the ownership of their identities when these are constructed from a palette of media stereotypes. In the end the butterfly reappears flying in to the sunset while the bullet holes in its wings is making out a peace sign.
Steffen Jørgensen (b. 1983, lives and works in Copenhagen), Robert Kjær Clausen (b. 1979, lives and works in Copenhagen) and Allan Nicolaisen (b. 1982, lives and works in Los Angeles) studied at Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien and Funen Art Academy. They have been working together as a group for the last ten years. Previous exhibitions include ‘Sniper on the Sun’, YEARS, Copenhagen, 2014 (solo); Paramount Ranch, Los Angeles, 2014; ‘Suicide Monkeys’, Pro Choice, Vienna, 2012 (solo); ‘Suicide Monkeys’, Toves Galleri, Copenhagen (solo).