Ros til Læsø Kunsthals formidling

Norsken, svensken og dansken | DR LYD

 

Programmet “Norsken, svensken og dansken” omtaler udstillingen “Political Art” i Warszawa (05:38). Journalist Åsa Linderborg har været i Polen og set udstillingen. Hassan Preisler tager et opgør med den behandling den har fået i medierne:

”Det er jo også helt tosset … at man ligesom pr. automatik har udskammet og udskældt den her udstilling. Den er kurateret af den, efter min mening, modigste museumsdirektør vi har i Danmark; som faktisk er norsk, og som hedder Jon Eirik Lundberg og er leder af Læsø Kunsthal. Jon går op imod de kollektiver der er i Danmark. Og han gør det ikke i politisk opposition, han gør det som kunstnerisk uafhængigt menneske. Det interesserer ham, at udfordre de fælles strømninger der er, og den tidsånd som dominerer. Og på den måde så er han derfor en af de mest interessante formidlere i Danmark lige nu. Og jeg forstår ikke at vi har sådan en automatisk tendens til at have behov for at udskamme og kategorisere det her. Han er selv, har jeg læst, meget, meget træt af at skulle stå på mål for det noget der bliver kaldt ”højreorienteret kunst” bare fordi det ikke indtager de fælles holdninger der er blevet besluttet af ”de rigtige”.”

Programmet bliver sendt i alle de tre skandinaviske lande.

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The inter-scandinavian program “The Norwegian, the Swede and the Dane” addresses the exhibition “Political Art” in Warsaw. The Danish writer and journalist Hassan Preisler praises the exhibition concept and Laesoe Art Hall’s work as “the most courageous and interesting dissemination of art in Denmark right now”.

 

 

 

The Pirates of The Kattegat: A glimpse into Peter Cohen’s political fantasy world

The Swedish film director Peter Cohen has written a smear towards the late artist Lars Vilks, who died in a tragic car accident on October 3rd. This is a reply to that text.

The fate of Lars Vilks, being under heavy security protection for 14 years, was a constant embarassment to Sweden. The country is one of the most advanced in the world and portrays itself as a “humanitarian superpower”. Yet a bunch of fanatical lunatics managed to boss around with Sweden over a simple drawing. The country had no idea what to put up with this enemy, and still doesn’t. In forseeable future it will be difficult to treat the legacy of Vilks with normal scientific practice in Sweden due to the security issues.

The head of Sweden’s most prominent museum, Gitte Ørskou, denounced Vilks’ most famous work only a few days after the death of the artist. It is not hard to see that the accusation that the drawing is “based on hateful iconography” is an excuse covering up the real issue, which is security.

Peter Cohen is on a twofold mission. On the one side he wants to divert attention away from these complex problems. On the other he wants to smear the Polish government.

For this purpose he has to invent a complete parallel reality. The Polish government, he claims, has ordered an exhibition from Laesoe Art Hall. This accusation is pointing to the exhibition “Political Art” at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warzaw. 18 works of Vilks are presented there. Why, you might think, would the Polish government purchase the services of the perhaps smallest art institution in the world? According to Peter Cohen beceause the art hall is the base for a right wing extremist network. As something quite unusual, at least historically speaking, this network is engaged in the production of contemporary art.

Alas, the right wing Polish government has found a partner in crime.

In the process of making this story up the film director starts portraying Lars Vilks as a kind of Don Quixote. The satirical figure is, however, also the center of the former mentioned “right wing cult” which has come into existence on Laesoe. Cohen seems to disagree with himself as to the status of Vilks; whether he is comical or dangerous. Unable to make the choice Cohen goes with both at the same time.

Five days before his piece was published Peter Cohen called me. He did not present himself, so I had no idea who I was talking to. He had only two questions: 1) Did the Polish government order the exhibition? 2) “Do you have Facetime on your phone?”

I immediatly thought I was talking to some slightly confused fellow citizen, and answered politely, making sure he had understood what I said.

1) No, the government of that huge Central European country did not order an exhibition from Laesoe Art Hall.

2) Learning that I did have Facetime on my phone Cohen said he would call me back another day and talk about the exhibition.

He never did so. Instead he produced what could serve as the plot for a Scandinavian version of Pirates of the Caribbean. Which is a bit funny, since I actually always thought of the art hall as a pirate ship, a privateer, in that the Art Hall is not funded by the government. Being “hired” by foreign governments makes that story even more entertaining, as the historical pirates were also used by governments in shady operations.

Jon Eirik Lundberg


Sweden: Calls for the burning of art

Lars Vilks, art, Sweden, Latvia, Islamic extremism, freedom of speech, press freedom

Lars Vilks working on a sculpture for the exhibition “Political Art” at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art”, Warzaw, august 2021. Photo: AFP/Scanpix

In the days following the tragic death of the Swedish artist Lars Vilks and his two bodyguards Scandinavian media and cultural personalities has denounced the artist for his most famous work, “The roundbout dog”. Their accusations are now echoed by an islamist movement in Sweden, calling for Vilks’ major landscape work, “Nimis”, to be “burned down”.

The demand fluctuates with the grave accusations directed towards the artist. He has been accused of adopting “hateful iconography” and of being associated with “right wing extremism”. The accusations have been formulated in the political mainstream and been put into rotation by mainstream media. This paves the way for extremists fighting against democracy and free speech, as they now can present their illegitimate agenda in an apparantly legitimate context.

This is a reminder of Sweden’s dark collaboration with another and former totalitarian movement, as the country in the 1930’s delivered the high quality iron ore necessary to build Adolf Hitler’s war machine. It also highlights the dubious practice of Western media to demonize art and artists as if they were dangerous political agents.

 

Jon Eirik Lundberg

Ingen kunstfaglig kritik af Vilks

I dagene efter den tragiske bilulykke, hvor Lars Vilks og to livvagter mistede livet, har mange aktører i medierne og kunstlivet kommenteret på hans værk. På den negative side træder Mikael Wivel (Weekendavisen), Anders Jerichow (Politiken) og Gitte Ørskou (Moderna Museet, Stockholm) tydeligt frem. De betragter enstemmigt Vilks’ “rondellhund” som en “fejl” i kunstnerskabet. Men ingen af dem giver dommen en kunstfaglig begrundelse.

Anders Jerichow mener tegningen bragte Vilks i “det forkerte selskab”. Uden at specificere evaluerer Jerichow de mennesker Vilks samarbejdede med som værende underlødige. Der gives ingen forklaring på hvad deres lødighedsproblem består i.

Mikael Wivel mener Nimis-værket er det største i Vilks ouevre, og at “tegningen” figurerer som en “skamplet” på det resterende. Wivel mener stregen i tegningen er for enkel. Dette er ikke en saglig kritik, eftersom stregen jo var tilstrækkelig. Og i øvrigt udgjorde “hunden” et motiv der optrådte i talrige konstellationer i Vilks’ værk. Noget som man kan være usikker på om Wivel er klar over.

Gitte Ørskou er den der kommer tættest på en faglig vurdering, i kraft af hendes rolle som leder af en stor kunstinstitution. Men hun forholder sig ikke til tegningen som et kunstværk. Hun udtaler: “(den er) funderet på hadsk og krænkende ikonografi…. tegningerne blev lavet som en bevidst provokation med henblik på at skabe ballade i en tid, som var og er stærkt præget af xenofobi og islamofobi”.

En størrelse som “hadsk ikonografi” er ikke funderet i kunstteori men er et udtryk for personlig smag. “Bevidst provokation” er “victim blaming”. Ørskou har ikke adgang til Vilks’ bevidsthed, men spekulerer i stedet. Ved at gøre ham ansvarlig for provokationen bliver dem der truer ham frikendt. Det samme ser man af ideen om at det er tegningen, og ikke terroristerne, der skaber balladen.

Hendes vurdering af tiden som værende præget af xenofobi og islamofobi er en rent politisk betragtning. De skandinaviske lande har nok aldrig været mere etnisk mangfoldige end de er i lige præcis denne tid, som hun mener er præget af “fremmedfrygt”. Og “islamofobi” er en term landene i Organisation for Islamic Cooperation anvender i deres undertrykkelse af dissidenter.

Tilbage står at værket bliver udskammet efter kunstnerens død, sådan som det blev da han var i live. Men hverken før eller efter ulykken har værket været genstand for en kritik på værkets præmisser.

Jon Eirik Lundberg

Den sidste kendte tegning udført af Lars Vilks. Detalje på Nimis-installationen i udstillingen “Political Art” som vises i Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art i Warszawa, 27/872021 – 16/1/2022. Foto: JEL

Lars Vilks (1946-2021)

Det er med stor sorg vi erfarer at kunstneren Lars Vilks er død. Lars Vilks fik til dels ufrivilligt rollen som en af de mest betydningsfulde politiske kunstnere da en international terrorbevægelse udnyttede hans berømmelse ved at true ham på livet. Siden 2007 levede han under konstant politibeskyttelse. Situationen gjorde det vanskeligt for ham at agere på kunstscenen, da mange vurderede det som for farligt og kontroversielt at vise hans værker. I 2019 bidrog han med tegninger og malerier til Læsø Kunsthals udstilling “Den politiske kunst”. En betydeligt større udgave af den udstilling vises for tiden på Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art i Warszawa, Polen. I den udstilling bidrager Lars Vilks med oliemalerier og en fortolkning af skulpturen Nimis.

Lars Vilks opfattede sin livssituation som truet kunstner som en del af et værk, og den tilgang var formentlig en vigtig grund til at han ufortrødent arbejdede videre. Han anlagde et instrumentelt og nøgternt blik på trusselbilledet, og kommenterede på sin tilværelses mange små forhindringer med galgenhumor. Han bød sine forfølgere den ultimative trods ved at overvinde dem. De kunne ikke få ham ned, hverken som kunstner eller som menneske.

 

Æret være hans minde.

the artist Lars Vilks in Warzaw 2021

Lars Vilks in Warzaw 2021. Photo: JEL

It is with profound sorrow that we learn our dear friend Lars Vilks has been involved in a fatal traffic accident. Vilks rose to global fame when his satirical comment on the Danish “cartoon crisis”, a drawing depicting a certain symbolic figure’s head mounted on a dog, was cancelled from an exhibition (with the theme “dog”) in 2007. The drawing is currently part of the exhibition “Political Art” at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warzaw, Poland. Vilks considered his life situation a part of his work and never gave in to the pressures against him. The situations, the people involved in his security etc. were elements in a giant art piece. In this way he won over his persecutors. We honour the memory of this profound artist and our thoughts are with his friends and family.

 

the artist Lars Vilks in Warzaw 2021

Lars Vilks signing the poster for the exhibition “Den politiske kunst” in Laesoe Art Hall, june 2019. Photo: JEL

Udstilling i Warszawa: “Political Art”

Læsø Kunsthal samarbejder i år med den største institution for samtidskunst i Polen, U-jazdowski Castle Centre For Contemporary Art. Institutionen er lokaliseret i det svenske barok-slot U-jazdowski fra 1624. Slottet har været ødelagt og genopbygget ad flere omgange, og blev senest destrueret af det kommunistiske regime efter 2. verdenskrig. Det blev genopbygget i sin nuværende i 60’erne som en institution for kunst. 

Udstillingen “Political Art” bygger videre på ideerne bag udstillingen “Den politiske kunst” i Læsø Kunsthal 2019, men er udvidet så den omfatter 27 kunstnere fra hele verden. Direktøren for Ujazdowski, Piotr Bernatowic, har i en årrække arbejdet med et program for kunstnere der bliver udgrænset af deres egen samtid. Udstillingen i 2021 er således en syntese af de to projekter. Udstillingen åbner den 27. august og varer til januar 2022. Det er den største visning af nutidig politisk kunst nogensinde.

 

Laesoe Art Hall is proud to announce a brand new collaboration with the most important institution for contemporary art in Poland, the U-jazdowski Castle Centre For Contemporary Art. The exhibition “Political Art” is the conclusion of the works of a group of people. Piotr Bernatowic, director of U-jazdowski, has for years worked on a concept termed “inner peripheri”; artists who are kept aside by curatotors and institutions in their own time due to conceptions of their “attitudes” or “political views”. The group Passion For Freedom has for more than a decade arranged exhibitions for artists that has been victims of political censorship. And Laesoe Art Hall in 2019 arranged the exhibition “Political art”, and gathered experiences relevant to both approaches. A new exhibition, opening on the 27th of August 2021, draws on all of these projects and experiences. It will be the most wide-spanning exhibition of contemporary political art that has ever been arranged.



Hvad betyder ‘provokation’? Foredrag om udstillingen ‘Den Politiske Kunst’ med Jon Eirik Lundberg

 

Udsnit fra udstillingsrummet. F.v. ses værker af Kristian von Hornsleth og Erik K. Christensen.

Udstillingen “Den politiske kunst” har opnået omtale i danske, svenske og tyske medier, og skabt høje bølger på sociale medier. Udstillingens deltagerliste har været genstand for politiske såvel som uformelle modreaktioner. Opmærksomheden har bidraget til et usædvanligt højt antal gæster, der har kvitteret med begejstring og opslutning. De to forskellige reaktionsmønstre synliggør bagvedliggende forhold, som giver udstillingen nye dimensioner. 

Kunsthallens leder og udstillingens kurator, Jon Eirik Lundberg, gør status op for udstillingens første periode. Det sker på samme dag som en anden udstilling ifølge programmet skulle åbne. Den blev dog flyttet til næste sæson, efter en række kunstnere og begge kuratorer valgte at bryde deres kontrakter som en politisk aktion rettet mod udstillingen “Den politiske kunst”.

What does ‘provocation’ mean? The curator of the exhibition ‘Political Art’, Jon Eirik Lundberg, is giving a talk on the status of the two first months of the exhibition. Which has been subject to but public and informal actions of political resistance against the list of participants in it. This attention han generated great numbers of visitors, whose reactions has been overwhelmingly positive. The two different approaches to the exhibition sheds light on underlaying issues and conflicts, which adds new dimensions to the exhibition.

 

 

 

The Political Art

Post-election: political rebellion on Laesoe

Soon after the general elections in Denmark, some of the most prominent national and international profiles will exhibit in the first group exhibition for political art in Denmark.

Chinese Ai WeiWei, British Banksy, Swedish Lars Vilks and Danish Firoozeh Bazrafkan are among the 13 artists taking part in an exhibition at Laesoe Art Hall.

“Political art represents both the fight and the vaccine against the culture of silence that exists in every society. The political artist breaks down taboos so that paths are opened for exchanging thoughts and ideas between individuals and between citizens and leaders. For this reason, political art is essential. And for this reason, this exhibition is essential,” says the curator of the art gallery Jon Eirik Lundberg of the background behind the exhibition.

Artists under threat

The exhibition has been underway for a while, since the art gallery has wished to gather some of the most pioneering names in this distinct area of the world of art. The idea of the exhibition was formulated in 2017, and the work culminates this summer in an exhibition of 230 SQM with political artists from all over the world who have paid for their art with imprisonment, fines, assaults and death threats. The work on this project brought about a collaboration with the group Passion For Freedom, which has presented political art in London for the last ten years. One of its members, Agnieszka Kolek, participates in the exhibition on Laesoe.  

The purpose of the exhibition is to make political art known and to let people reflect over the reactions to political art within themselves and within others – and why they have this impact. The leader of the art gallery Jon Eirik Lundberg states that the exhibition is also a tribute to political artists:

Revealing the limits to freedom

“Like the canary in the old days showed miners when the air was running out, the political artist unveils where the limits to free speech are in a society. The political artist supports the individual’s opportunity to live in freedom. In totalitarian regimes, the artist lives with their own life and freedom on the line, but also in our part of the world we see that he or she is assaulted, threatened and shamed out. We see often that their artworks – sometimes deliberately – are interpreted as specific political opinions, and that the artist must account for opinions simply because they are included in elements of his or her artwork,” says Jon Eirik Lundberg.

Provocative art

Political art, unlike many other forms of art, relates itself specifically to society and for this reason often seems disturbing or even provocative for the viewer. Political artists are also often misunderstood as provocateurs for the sake of provocation or promoting a political agenda. But there is a huge difference between politics and political art, and one of the ambitions behind the exhibition is precisely to spread awareness of this distinction, says the curator of the art gallery:

“Art does not have a defined goal as politics do. And while politics is about providing answers, the intention of art is to ask questions. That is why we need political art. We must – however provocative it may be – be able to relate to all questions about our society and opinions without always having to provide an answer.”

The exhibition “Political art” runs from Friday 7th June to Sunday 28th July 2019. The following artists are participating with their works:

  • Agnieszka Kolek (Poland/United Kingdom)
  • Ai WeiWei (China)
  • Banksy (United Kingdom)
  • Dan Park (Sweden)
  • Erik K. Christensen (Denmark)
  • Firoozeh Bazrafkan (Denmark/Iran)
  • Gongsan Kim (North Korea/United States)
  • Kristian von Hornsleth (Denmark)
  • Lars Vilks (Sweden)
  • Lina Hashim (Denmark/Iraq)
  • The Nielsen Movement (Denmark)
  • Mimsy (United Kingdom)
  • Uwe Max Jensen (Denmark)

The exhibition is generously funded by The Danish Arts Foundation, Fountainhead, Knud Hoejgaard’s Fund and Obelske Familiefond.

Den politiske kunst (7/6-08/9)

Efter valget: 51 dage med politisk oprør på Læsø

Straks efter folketingsvalget udstiller nogle af de skarpeste profiler i Danmark og verden på den første gruppeudstilling herhjemme for politisk kunst.

Paparazzi Rat – Photographer Rat, 2003/2004  
Stencil and spray paint on plastic traffic bollard 
90 x 37 x 37 cm. 
  
Collection: Peter Hvidberg 

Kinesiske Ai WeiWei, britiske Banksy, svenske Lars Vilks og danske Firoozeh Bazrafkan er blandt de i alt 13 kunstnere udstillingen præsenterer.

“Politisk kunst repræsenterer både kampen og vaccinen mod den tavshedskultur, som findes i et ethvert samfund. Den politiske kunstner bryder tabuer ned, så vejene åbnes for udveksling af tanker og ideer mellem individer og mellem borgere og magthavere. Derfor er politisk kunst nødvendigt. Og derfor er denne udstilling nødvendig.” Sådan fortæller kunsthallens daglige leder, Jon Eirik Lundberg om baggrunden for udstillingen.

Truede kunstnere

Udstillingen har været længe undervejs, da man fra kunsthallens side har ønsket at samle nogle af de mest toneangivende navne inden for dette særlige område af kunstens verden. Ideen til udstillingen blev fostret i 2017, og denne sommer kulminerer arbejdet i en udstilling på 230 kvm. med politiske kunstnere fra hele verden, som har betalt for deres kunst med fængsling, bøder, overfald og mordtrusler. Arbejdet med udstillingen bragte kunsthallen i kontakt med London-gruppen Passion For Freedom, der har arrangeret en årlig udstilling med politisk kunst fra hele verden gennem ti år. Et af gruppens medlemmer, Agniezska Kolek, deltager i udstillingen på Læsø.

Formålet med udstillingen er at fortælle, hvad politisk kunst er, og at få folk til at reflektere over de reaktioner, den politiske kunst skaber hos dem selv og andre – og hvorfor. Kunsthallens leder Jon Eirik Lundberg fortæller, at udstillingen samtidig er en hyldest til de politiske kunstnere:

Afslører frihedens grænser

“Ligesom kanariefuglen i gamle dage, viste minearbejderne, hvornår ilten slap op, så synliggør den politiske kunstner, hvor grænserne for den fri debat går i et samfund. Den politiske kunstner styrker den enkeltes mulighed for at leve i frihed. I totalitære regimer lever kunstneren med sit eget liv og frihed som indsats, men selv i frie samfund på vores egne breddegrader ser vi, at han eller hun bliver overfaldet, truet og skammet ud. Vi ser ofte, at deres kunstværker – nogle gange bevidst – bliver tolket som konkrete politiske holdninger, og at kunstneren bliver taget til indtægt for holdninger, blot fordi de indgår som elementer i hans eller hendes kunstværk”, fortæller Jon Eirik Lundberg.

Provokerende kunst

Den politiske kunst forholder sig modsat mange andre kunstretninger meget konkret til samfundet og virker derfor ofte forstyrrende eller ligefrem provokerende på beskueren. Politiske kunstnere bliver da også tit misforstået som provokatører for provokationens skyld eller fortalere for en politisk agenda. Men der er stor forskel på politik og politisk kunst, og en af ambitionerne med udstillingen er netop at sætte fokus på forskellen, fortæller kunsthallens leder:

“Kunsten har ikke et defineret mål ligesom politik har det. Og mens politik handler om at levere svar, så er kunstens opgave at stille spørgsmål. Det er derfor, vi har brug for den politiske kunst. Vi skal – hvor provokerende det end måtte være – kunne forholde os til ethvert spørgsmål om vores samfund og holdninger uden altid at skulle give et svar.”

Udstillingen “Den politiske kunst” løber fra fredag den 7. juni til og med søndag den 28. juli 2019.

Følgende kunstnere deltager med værker:

  • Agnieszka Kolek (Polen/Storbritannien)
  • Ai WeiWei (Kina)
  • Banksy (Storbritannien)
  • Dan Park (Sverige)
  • Erik K. Christensen (Danmark)
  • Firoozeh Bazrafkan (Danmark/Iran)
  • Gongsan Kim (Nordkorea/USA)
  • Kristian von Hornsleth (Danmark)
  • Lars Vilks (Sverige)
  • Lina Hashim (Danmark/Irak)
  • The Nielsen Movement (Danmark)
  • Mimsy (Storbritannien)
  • Uwe Max Jensen (Danmark)

Udstillingen er generøst støttet af Statens Kunstfond, Knud Højgaards Fond, Fountainhead og Det Obelske Familiefond.