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Marie Hald: Exposed

31/03 2023 - 17/09 2023
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Activism, taboos and vulnerability among everyday Danes at the Danish National Portrait Gallery.

Award-winning Danish Photojournalist Marie Hald boldly challenges stigmatising and impossible beauty ideals with portraits steeped in vulnerability. Pushing back against body idealism and the cult of perfection where few are deemed worthy, she raises her activist voice to break taboos about vulnerability, self-hatred and anxiety. Hald’s work chronicles difficulties and gives voice to minorities, opening our eyes to the struggles of others – and to our very own.

In “Exposed”, famous and everyday Danes become part of a wave that is changing society’s views on the body, normality and perfectionism. In a series of self-portraits, Marie Hald exposes her own vulnerability and joins the front lines in the battle for personal well-being and dignity. Fat activists, people with anorexia, women of all ages and sizes, men and children all have a place in Hald’s works on display at the Danish National Portrait Gallery – side by side with people who before them pushed society in new directions. “Exposed” is about living with an awareness of – and an insistence on – each individual’s unconditional right to be who they are in their present body.

“Photography can make a difference – open our eyes and change the way we see each other and ourselves. My greatest hope is that everyone will feel that ‘there is room for me’,”

Marie Hald on the background for the portraits and exhibition.


With this first solo exhibition in her native Denmark, Maria Hald firmly establishes that she is one of the most important female photographers in Denmark, and that her photographs inspire and shape a much-needed dialogue.


About Marie Hald

35-year-old Marie Hald is an internationally recognised photojournalist who has exhibited widely throughout Europe. In recent years, she has won an array of awards for her series and portraits, including Danish Press Photo of the Year, World Press Photo and Young Nordic Photographer of the Year.

Hald came to prominence with her photographs of a Danish sex worker named Bonnie, whom she followed for a number of years. Her latest work takes a closer look at the body, with subjects including girls with anorexia, body activists fighting for the right to be fat and acceptance in society, and people struggling to lose weight.

The woman is a consistent motif in all of her photographs, which often raise questions about the nature of the female gender. Her works engage in the current debate on women’s sexuality, appearance and equality in modern society.


Tickets to the museum are valid all day and for all exhitbitions.