It has caught the attention of international media that the Danish governement is suggesting to punish even artistic treatment of religious symbols with prison sentences. A leading voice in the protests is the french satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, which was brutally attacked in January 2015. Its editor in chief, Gérard Biard, has written a manifesto against the law (link in the end of the article).
In the text Biard concludes, that the Danish government is taking side with the cruel regimes of countries like Afghanistan and Iran, where the treatment of women is both brutal and on display for entire world. Less exposed in the daily newsfeed, but just as brutal, is the treatment of women, minorities, gays and migrants in numerous OIC countries.
These topics have been dealt with in three Laesoe Art Hall exhibitions in 2019 and 2021:
Den politiske kunst (Laesoe Art Hall, 2019)
WOMEN (solo exhibition with Firoozeh Bazrafkan, Laesoe Art Hall, 2021)
Political Art (group exhibition, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2021 – 2022)
The exhibitions lead to a serie of online lectures, “Politisk kunst”, published by Alinea and available for all 10th grade pupils in Denmark. Likewise the exhibitions have been described in two books, “Balladen om den politiske kunst” (“the trouble of the political art”), 2020, and “Kulturmiddelklassens hævn” (“The revenge of the cultural middle class”), 2022, both by Laesoe Art Hall Publishing.
The exhibitions were either ignored or attacked by most Danish media. Still the leading Danish newspaper, Berlingske Tidende, is “surprised to see the major art institutions abstain from commenting” on the new law. The newspaper is also condemning the looming “art police” under the minister of Justice, Peter Hummelgaard (the Social-Democrats). What until recently was condemned as “right wing propaganda” is now art that must be protected, according to this line of reasoning.
Link to the editorial in Berlingske:
Gérard Biard is right in his observation that the law is taking side with the most repressive powers in the world. But the attitude behind the law has existed for a very long time, and already made life very difficult for artists and curators alike.
Manifesto in Danish:
Article in LeMonde:
Jon Eirik Lundberg