Monday, September 15, 2008


larger version

Having my stuff returned from the CDB collection brings back memories.

Like this slide of an installation I did at Udstillingsstedet Nørre Farimagsgade 55, way back in 1994.

Somewhat frustrated by the lack of exhibition spaces for contemporary art in Copenhagen (and eager to get in the game) I joined a group of other students at the academy who rented a shop in central Copenhagen to turn it into an exhibition space with the very long name Udstillingsstedet Nørre Farimagsgade 55.

In the beginning we were around ten people, and we all agreed to do a "solo show" each, the plan being that our shows only ran for two weeks - To get things happening, moving, etc, etc.

I was on my third year at the academy and somewhat stuck in the no-mans-land of contemporary art. I didn't really know what to do for this show, but since we had a very collective way of working in the group, some of the "core members" suggested I took the entire contents of my room where I lived, rug included, and placed that in the gallery...AN INSTALLATION!

This meant I practically had to live inside the gallery for two weeks...but stupid as I was I probably said something like: "...oh,'m with that!.."

Spending two weeks like a human goldfish was a bit stressful. The street outside was quite busy and each morning I had to check the number of passers-by with the corner of one eye, so I could jump out of my bed when no one was looking and slip into the back room, where the kitchen was. Here I could wash and get a few minutes of privacy.

During the day practically no one came to watch the show, as anyone familiar with independent artists spaces will recognise. But one day, the recently appointed professor at the Copenhagen art academy, Claus Carstensen, came by around lunchtime, with Rooseum directer Lart Nittve in tow. They spent a few minutes there while I munched down some meatballs and Coca Cola. Carstensen was very friendly, and he had taken a keen interest in what we were doing at the space from the beginning but I was already becoming a bit confused about the contemporary art scene - How could moving all my tired old junk into a gallery, and living there, be called art?..I was into making images.

I didn't get it then, and still don't...but Lars Nittve moved on to become the director of The Louisiana Museeum of Modern Art in Denmark, later on The Tate Modern in London and now the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, so I suppose he knew.

Claus Carstensen is one of the leading Danish contemporary artists, and some of my fellow students at the gallery moved on to become art stars, so they probably knew too.

Well, Lennard, what do YOU know then?...

I now know how to stay out of trouble.
I know how to stick to my own thing and stay with that.

And it took me a long time to learn that.

From this learning perspective, and perhaps also other perspectives, Udstillingsstedet Nørre Farimagsgade 55 was junior high.

Retro babe"...ok, Sensitive Sandy - Then FORGET about wearing a skirt made from bananas - Jeeziz!.."
Panzer Marder III (r)
Photographed at an allied vehicle dump with some Panzer III's in the background.
The Marder III (r) mounted a Russian 76,2 mm field gun. These were captured in large numbers during the invasion of Soviet Russia and modified to take German 75 mm ammunition. Note the live round on the ground in front of the panzer.

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