#1 | #2 | IFFR#33 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 Munchen | #7 | #8 | #9 | #10 The Interviews | #11 | #12 Berlin | #13 Dresden | #14 | #15 | #16 Copenhagen | #17 IFFR | #18 Riga | #19 Conceptual Art | #20 The Swiss Issue | #21 Aktie! | #22 Rotterdam Art Map 1.0 | #23 Bruxelles | #24 Maasvlakte 2 | #25 Douala | #26 Rotterdam Art Map 2.0 | #27 Tbilisi | #28 Budget Cuts NL | #29 Italian Issue | #30 Rotterdam Art Map 3.0 | #31 It’s Playtime | #32 | #33 Rotterdam Art Map 4.0 | #34 Arnhem Art Map | #35 Existentialism | #36 Pascal Gielen | #37 The Swiss Issue revisited | Copyright |

Editorial (Export edition)
69 Forever! The police handed out bits or rubble to mournful young punks as if to say: “here is a souvenir from your Youth House (Ungdomshuset), it’s nothing to do with us”. From 7 to 11 March we were in Copenhagen to meet and interview people. Two days before there had been heavy rioting and demonstrations. Copenhagen for us is art and activism, art and politics, demonstrations and freedom.
This issue is a possible response to the request by the curators Johanne Loegstrup and Katarina Stenbeck of Publik to make a Fucking Good Art in Copenhagen for their project How do you Belong?- 5 projects in public space. We decided to produce two versions: one domestic and one export to raise the issue about the local and global in art. We cultural workers with our international networks can easily migrate and fit in with another art community and feel at home. In Denmark culture is an export product – many artists have left for Berlin, where there is talk of a Danish mafia.
This issue includes: a correspondence between the two émigré Danish artists Søren and Christian about the influence of their new countries on their art production and an email conversation with Erik Steffensen about Charlottenborg and his ideas about art education and Poul Gernes. Kristina Ask writes about institutional self-critique and Freedom, and Nicoline van Harskamp describes her experience of the CRIR residency programme in Freetown Christiania. We took two walks through the city; we spoke with artist Nis Rømer about art and activism, and architect Iben Krause taught us about SLOAPs: spaces left over after planning.
Niels Henriksen and Maibritt Pedersen – students from the Cph University – write about their research into and mapping of the Cph alternative art scene. There are texts by Judith Schwarzbart on the Cultural Canon, Thibaut de Ruyter on Asger Jorn and Guy Debord, Matilde Digmann on Mjølnerparken and Superflex, and Nienke Terpsma with an anecdote about Dutch cultural politics. Two visual contributions by Lise Harlev and Jakob Jakobsen, and the serial Tramps Like Us by Michael Baers in coop with us. And finally the godfathers of Danish self-publishing Pist Protta/Space Poetry – Jasper Fabricius, Åse Eg Jørgensens, and Jesper Rasmussen.

^Rob Hamelijnck and Nienke Terpsma, Copenhagen

Tramps Like Us (Export version)
By Michael Baers / Collective Statement A Day at the Riots or The Social Democratic Carnavalesque

1. For a brief history of Ungdomshuset, please go to www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ungdomshuset
2. We were reassured by what we took as a pervasive sympathy for the rioters*, the severity of the government response being viewed, we thought, as symptomatic: one example of a larger tendency towards the three R’s—reification, rationalization, and recuperation.
* That this impression resulted from casual conversation with persons who might not be considered representative of popular sentiment indicates the essentially unscientific character of this assertion.
>Other native informants later corrected this impression, calling our attention to the negativity of the television coverage, which we, ignorant of the Danish language, had not bothered to watch. The true public opinion is probably somewhere in between, that is to say, polarized, which is also to say, typically Danish at present.
>News coverage outside Denmark also focused on the violence, and uniformly mischaracterized the protesters as “squatters”, but were we wrong for detecting in the news readers a subdued note of appreciation for the daring and ingenuity of the rioters who skillfullly eluded the police, attacking and then melting away into the fabric of urban space/time?
>Also their vivacity: to the extent that Copenhagen Kommune was forced to loan police vehicles from both Sweden and the Netherlands in an attempt to contain the rioting—a fact which caused the police and municpalictiy some embarrassment.
>How is it that a music venue/activist center could cause such a commotion? This fact should alert us to our impoverishment, to the limits capital sets. Ruminating on such thoughts unearthed Ulrike Meinhof’s saying, “to set fire to one car is a crime, to burn a hundred is political action.”
3. The glorious oppression of real needs.
4. This insight did not come without a price. Over 700 arrests occurred over the weekend as a result of police sweeps in which foreigners without passports were immediately remanded to custody. People were arrested “on their way to the supermarket”, as one friend put it*, or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or wearing the wrong clothes.
*Another native informant spoke of an acquaintance, a college professor, who having been arrested at a demonstration, was released (while his les respectable-appearing co-defendants were incarcerated), only to be re-arrested later at his residence, his wife and child looking on, after a judge had reviewed the case and determined he should have remained in police custody.
>This is to say nothing of the private residences and offices which were subjected to police searches, executed with great robustness, such as the one at the offices of TV TV during which police felt compelled to break down every door they encountered.
5. A convenient and frequently used site for rallies and marches to either assemble or disperse, especially that week, where daily protest marches were being held.
6. Overgaden,an artist-run exhibition space ,then in the midst of celebrating its 21st anniversary with a special 3-week exhibition and regular schedule of events examining the nature of the art institution as such, decorously ignored events without. One local artist, while discussing this phenomenon, expressed the opinion that it wasn’t that Overgaden had excluded people but instead had confined itself.
7. Like: in terms of socially engaged practice, what is the social nature of the art institution? We cannot deny that art has the potential to generate critical thought and create new audiences. Nevertheless, in many States where institution of the three R’s occurred earlier and in a more thoroughgoing manner, the functioning of the art institution has been well policed to guard against its possible contamination by political considerations. This is not to deny that in certain institutions critical voices have operated, but to remark on how brief the tenure of such voices frequently is.
8.Ungdomshuset would fulfill the criteria Victor Turner set out for a liminal site, or what Foucault termed “heterotopia”—a site at the margins that reflects social relations from the perspective of a carnavalesque exteriority, and from this position endows social interaction with a loaded, symbolic potential.
9. In other words, one which functions as a node of resistance.
10. What is the status of cultural policy in Denmark? Tone Hansen, in “European Cultural Policies 2015 states that the future of cultural policy in Norway (and one can infer Denmark following a similar course) will consist of “More state subsidies invested in art. The funds are to a greater degree employed through means such as the forum for Culture and Business, and directly politically initiated and temporary projects...The arm’s length principle has become a two-edged problem for institutions and artists, because paradoxically independence is offered in return for obeying orders. Rather than letting go its institutions, the State* is more determined in its use of them.
* “Every actual State is corrupt.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

^Michael Baers, artist and political refugee from the US living in Berlin

E-mail conversation with Erik Steffensen
Erik Steffensen is an artist from Cph, teacher at the Royal Danish Academy and runs the gallery Fung Sway in the new gallery-coop building in Valby.

FGA: We understand you have many different persona in Copenhagen: Artist, Director of the board of the Charlottenborg Udstillingsbygning, a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and initiator of the Fung Sway gallery.
E.S: Yes, as Marcel Duchamp put it: an artist is a man with many jobs.
FGA: At the moment there is a fight over the way Charlottenborg should function; artist-run or as an institutional curator-run exhibition space. What is the problem?
E.S: The question of Charlottenborg is about privileges, that means money and power, i.e. who spends it on which shows. We are opening on 26 December 2007 as Kunsthal Charlottenborg – a whole new profile with a professional program. There are still six artists amongst the twelve board members, but the director – Bo Nilsson – is a new invention. He will be curating as he also did when he ran the Rooseum in Malmø and the Liljevalchs Kunsthal in Stockholm. The tension has been high but now everything has been escalated to the level of a political question in parliament. We decided for a complete change, but they will decide if it’s okay.
FGA: Why is the decision in the hands of the politicians?
E.S: Because they finance the building and the program – they don't make it – but support it, they suddenly realize that they have a right to be spokesmen for anyone in the political spectrum concerning artists. Culture is always good media stuff – that’s why they have such an interest in profiling – not the art – but themselves.
FGA: Charlottenborg and the art academy are built around two courtyards. It looks very symbolic to have those two institutions so close together. We understood that Charlottenborg was ‘conquered’ in the 1970s by artists? What was their aim?
E.S: The art academy was built 250 years ago and the exhibition building (Charlottenborg) in the 1880s for the salon and for the professors to exhibit their work. I suppose it represented the emergence of a Danish national artistic identity after the war with Germany around 1864. The ‘conquerors’, as you call them, are the members of the art group that is now leaving. They were given the building by the State but forgot that new generations also have an equal right to benefit from money provided by the Danish State. Times are changing. The change is necessary for the better, for the publicity and the artists showing in future. We will also renovate the spaces. It has become run down because the artists’ groups kept it as a State-financed gallery. We paid the costs – they sold their art works and invested nothing in the building. They even kept the entry fee.
FGA: Your gallery Fung Sway is in Valby, the new, commercially successful gallery complex. We noticed many of those galleries are showing very young artists; some are still students. Can you tell us what Fung Sway is about and what is the position in relation to the academy?
E.S: There is no connection between Fung Sway and the art academy other than that it’s part of my program. Fung Sway is a project with my students and the director of a printing company, who pays the rent. Fung Sway is about how to develop art in a practical sense instead of speaking theory. It is very banal, a show is a mixture of: logistics, curating, art works, art, public, press and so on. The philosophy is JUST DO IT but in a controlled sense, not through profit but by artistic means. In my last year as a professor we made thirteen shows and ten catalogues. I’m quitting this summer and I’ve lost a lot of money but educated students in a very innovative way. Fung Sway will close at the end of March 2007.
FGA: Can you tell a little bit more about your program and way of teaching?
E.S: I don´t look back, but try to move things in a practical way, thats all. It has been a privilege to have good understanding students of this sort of teaching. Basically we just did what companies do when they develop something: that just means that we believe in a team building strategy. Try to focus and be innovative to have success. We will not be able to measure if this is ahead of time or the beginning of a new academy in it´s form or just plain bullshit. I am interested in Poul Gernes (he is in the Dokumenta this year) and made the first comprehensive monograph on his work some years ago. He made his own school “eksperimantal art scool” in 1962 – I think this form is still needed. To breathe where air is…
FGA: Who was Poul Gernes?
E.S: Poul Gernes was a hippie-ayatollah-painter and banned all galleries and decided only to paint public buildings and giant wall paintings in hospitals. He died in 1996.
FGA: Why did he start his own art school and what model did he use?
E.S: He was tired that nothing happened in danish art life – nobody wanted to do anything but discuss- he decided to make a school “learning by doing” - that was the model or principle- he did not exclude possibilities.
FGA: Jonathan Meese said about art education: close all Art School. What do you think?
E.S: I think also Gustave Courbet said that: Art cannot be taught. It´s true. But we need a meeting place such as when Jonathan visited my school recently and did the “Black Tits Master-class” as I prefer to call it.
FGA: Nice! And what about this one? Jeremy Deller asks himself: Should amateurism be embraced as an aesthetic strategy?
E.S: Good question!
FGA: So in this light we come close to Beuys' idea of 'everybody is an artist', but this is half of what he said, he said also ' but not everybody is a good painter'.
Let's go back to your projects and new way of educating your students, and the dilemmas of teaching art. Are you preparing them to be a gallery artists?
E.S: They decide themselves which kind of artist. I prepare them for a life with art. I think also Beuys did that. Again: The students decide themselves which kind of artist. None of them wants to be a bad painter, but that would be interesting. Its a possibility that we have to work on. Its not a problem. The focus is as my first question to them when we meet: “Do you really want to be an artist?”, I did not ask them: “Do you want a career?”. They decide themselves and work on their own solutions, projects and dreams. I’m just the coach. I´m not the runner who will win the race – they are – and if they want that they have to go all the way. That means: listening and not listening and hear the clapping of one hand.
FGA: What do you think of the introduction of the Anglo-American system of Ba and Ma courses in the European art schools?
E.S: Thanks for asking. I hate it. It destroys art. Van Gogh would never have made it as a Bachelor or Master. But at the end of the day more and more people think that something like art exists if there is a system or machinery behind it – it gives them comfort. But what difference does it really make to art itself? Will it benefit or will it just make more silly things to be discussed. I´m afraid the latter. That we have to pass a load of bullshit to get to the thing itself…
FGA: What will you do when you quit teaching and Fung Sway?
E.S: Tell my gallerist to sell more of my work and of course answer e-mails and letters and phone-calls. Currently I´m writing a book called Dead Letters.


Cultural politics; the reality is better than fiction.
It seems we were not the only ones with a plan for a publication in two separate editions: one for the domestic market and one for export. Each year since 1932 the Stichting Collectieve Propaganda van het Nederlandse Boek (which translates roughly as Foundation for the Promotion of Dutch Literature) has organised ‘national book week’ in Holland. During this week anyone who spends more than €11.50 on a new Dutch-language book also receives the complimentary ‘book week gift’ – a specially commissioned new piece of writing. This year the gift is a novella whose story takes place around the bridge in Istanbul which connects Europe with Asia: De Brug (The Bridge) by the popular journalist and historian Geert Mak. The book was printed in a record-breaking edition of 890,000 copies and its launch was attended by a huge publicity campaign. Because of its theme the CPNB decided to produce 20,000 copies of a Turkish-language edition. This fits nicely with the new Dutch cultural policy of ‘building bridges’.
At the beginning of April a bilingual announcement appeared in the Dutch press saying that the entire Turkish edition was being recalled from bookshops and that all those in possession of a copy could exchange it for the “correct reprint”. – what is so explosive about this? And what is correct?
It turns out that there are two different Turkish translations of the book: one for Turkish people in Holland and one for Turkey. The version destined for Turkey was mistakenly delivered to Dutch bookshops. The difference? The Turkish community in Holland was supposed to read about Armenian ‘genocide’, ‘deportations’, ‘brave’ actions by Danish newspaper editors and the ‘legendary barbarity’ of Sultan Mehmet II . The readers in Turkey were to get a version that, and I quote: “complies with Turkish law”, resulting in Armenian ‘migration’, ‘idiotic’ actions by Danish newspaper editors and no mention of Sultan Mehmet II’s ‘legendary barbarity’.
Three days later the NRC Handelsblad’s editorial claimed that it had never been the intention to produce an expurgated version, but that the Turkish publisher had pleaded for censorship following the murder of the journalist Hrant Dink. A few days later the same newspaper concluded: “That Turkey does not own up to its own past is one thing. That it meddles with texts and exhibitions beyond its boarders concerning the Armenian genocide – and that others are complicit in such interference – is alarming and shows that Turkey is as yet unfit for entry to the EU. It is sad that this atmospheric and hardly controversial book-week gift has to be adapted. It is good that the CPNB is offering Turkish readers the opportunity to read the unexpurgated version.”
So Turkey’s entry to the EU is dependent upon how Turkey writes its own history. There is no tolerance for their intolerance of deviant interpretations. Because we know exactly what happened.
Only a few months ago Dutch parliamentary candidates of Turkish extraction were forced, under threat of dismissal from their party, to “admit” that the Turkish State had committed ‘genocide’ against the Armenians in 1915. And every Dutch person was suddenly an expert on the subject of early twentieth-century Turkish history. Interviews with the public – preferably in shopping streets – were shown on TV news: “So sir, what do you think about the genocide?” In Turkish history there seems to be an unequivocal truth – which we know all about – with no nuances and no discussions about definitions. In the same week, during the presentation of the budget, the Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, announced: “Let us be proud of our country, back to the VOC mentality!” (The VOC = The Dutch East India Company and thus colonialism, oppression and the slave trade). And the only criticism in the press was jokey and lighthearted. And the man has been re-elected. Meanwhile many Dutch history books still euphemistically call the bloody suppression of the Indonesian independence movement against Dutch colonial rule: police actions necessary to restore order. The Netherlands prefers to shine its bright moral light on Turkey than, for example, on the cargo of the ships of our heroes Maurice of Nassau, Piet Hein* and Michiel de Ruyter.

Reproduction (in our B&B) of a painting of a Brazilian female slave by the Dutch painter Albert Eckhout:
Original 25 live-size paintings to be found in Nationalmuseum Copenhagen. Maurice gave the paintings to FrederikIII, King of Denmark.

*Piet Pieterszoon Hein (1577–1629), Dutch naval commander and folk hero, not Piet Hein (1905-1996) the Danish scientist and poet, although Wikipedia quotes one of the Dane’s Grooks, first published in English in 1966, which seems rather appropriate here:

Men, said the Devil,
are good to their brothers:
they don’t want to mend
their own ways, but each other’s.


Copenhagen’s Alternative Art Scene – Justified, Ancient and Problematic
What makes an exhibition-space alternative? And is it even possible to map an area that by definition loathes definition?

Our group of five art-history students wished to map the field of alternative exhibition spaces in Copenhagen by investigating the developments over the last fifteen years and looking at a cross-section of the field right now. However, we soon realised that defining the term ‘alternative’ is rather problematic.
First of all, alternative is a term that derives its meaning in opposition to something else. Being dependent on another term, it is rather unstable. What was once considered alternative is often later recognised as a legitimate strategy within the established art world.
In the 1990s the Copenhagen art market was still small, but there was a general and joint will in the unestablished art community to create beneficial conditions for the controversial, experimental and less commercial forms of art such as installations, video, performance, digital art and conceptual art. Galleries and institutions might now include more of these practices, but the question remains whether they still exclude other less established practices.
We sent a questionnaire to approximately fifty very different spaces, ranging from kunsthalle-type institutions to small artist-run studio-type spaces. The questionnaire contained eight questions dealing with issues of ownership, funding, curatorial focus etc., the joker being question 8: “Do you see yourself as an alternative exhibition-space?” There was a broad range of responses. Even if many answers pointed to the problem of qualifying alternativeness by asking: “alternative to what?” many were helpful in listing the reasons why they see themselves as alternative such as: being non-profit, artist-run, working with unusual physical frameworks, working in public spaces and showing underexposed artists. The answers were added to three maps juxtaposing alternativeness with curatorial focus, audiences, and financial profitability. This exposed some rather strange patterns, showing that some very small, no-budget spaces behave just like larger, publicly funded institutions and vice versa. Equally interesting were the spaces that were located off the map completely, because they appeared simultaneously at different scales, by saying: “we are so alternative that we are an autonomous position, and therefore not alternative at all”, by approaching several different audiences at once, or by taking a position outside an economy based on profit or loss.
We were rather surprised by the very different appropriations of the term ‘alternative’ in the written answers and particularly in the debate we organised at Overgaden – Institute of Contemporary Art. The five invited panellists were people that either are or have been involved in the alternative art scene in Copenhagen: Tone Olaf Nielsen (freelance curator), Susan Hinnum (PhD. and former artist), Nicolai Wallner (gallery owner) and the artist-run space DUNK! The discussion focussed mainly on whether to and how to make an alternative exhibition-space work financially, the pros and cons of public funding, different models of alternativeness, how these have changed over time and whether they are still valid. The discussion was eloquent and heated, and of course did not reach a conclusion. But the evening showed that there is great eagerness to discuss the scene’s purpose and the multitude of positions that seem to increase its fertile nature.
Although disagreeing wildly on the whys and wherefores, the panel and audience seemed to agree that autonomous exhibition spaces have a legitimate role: constituting a fundamental alternative to the corporate museum business and the profit-oriented galleries; maintaining a qualified art production and community; providing room for artistic practices that are critical of the art-institutional hype, the commercialism and commodification of art and the dominant power structures and their modes of production.

^Dina Vester Feilberg, Mia Broe Jakobsen, Naja Rasmussen, Maibritt Pedersen and Niels Henriksen.

In tune with institutional self-critique? (Track One)
[for the international context]
To write a text about freedom for an artzine is like playing hide-and-seek in the outskirts of suburbia. Playing the game you get a sudden feeling of freedom, of do-it-yourself empowerment. A mental space is created for free thoughts and potential acts. It is a sense of freedom to leave unnoticed – as the text could go unnoticed as being anything other than a space of imagination. At the end there is always a relief in being found again. You are not alone. And this is just a text, an imagined free space, a temporary possession of power to formulate and define.

I got the power
Institutional critique is a game that plays with a similar notion of freedom. It is an imagined space for artists to criticise from within. To question the economic structure, the notion of a public space and of audience and spectator, the hierarchies at work and the questionable representation of gender and ethnicity. By playing host to those in opposition, the ones in possession of an ‘autonomous’ critical gaze, art institutions include what is of course always relevant criticism and thereby show grandeur, a surplus stating that it possesses the ultimate power.
Then there is institutional self-criticism, which is the same game, but to a different tune. The game of hide-and-seek is no longer funny – the institution is asking for help. It is asking the artists that once criticised from within to help define ways for the institution to keep the position of power that they used to have. The imagined space. The tune is a lullaby because even art institutions are under threat from the neo-liberal tour de force to individualise all problems and responsibilities that used to be part of the overarching state systems of Western(ised) societies.
Self control
The system is still arching, but the game is about legitimising the body of control by individualising all responsibilities. This – as all other attempts at institutional or structural renewal – comes from fear, fear of loosing a position of power and control. To avoid the entrance of paranoia and conspiracy in the imagined free space of this text, I would like to make believe that it is that which is outside, or beneath the inside, that is the agent of the threat.
This kind of power game is always contradictory. The only way that institutions – or ageing structures – can adapt to change is by ceasing to exist. Art institutions do not play an important part in what would seem to be happening – they are not needed, neither society nor artists need them any longer. Contemporary artists have found new ways of dealing with power and control, either on the market or in self-organised spaces.
Slave to the rhythm
Institutional (self-)critique as seen in the art world brings to mind a case that can serve as an example of the movement from inside to outside and into the groove. This is the case of how the Danish government deals with the 35-year-old free town Christiania, an old squat in a former military area in the centre of Copenhagen. This is a very attractive part of the city – with lakes, lots of trees, birds and other animals, a recreational zone. When the newish-liberal Danish government came to power in 2001 they had to deal with this free space, which had always been a thorn in the eye of everyone who is a slave to the rhythm of capitalism – not as opponents, but the devoted believers working their arses off to keep up with the pace of consumption. That other people – the hippies – could simply take a space and claim it for 35 years and not have to pay the same sky-rocketing property prices is not just ‘unfair’, it is utopian. But this representation of a utopian idea will not be there for much longer. The newish-liberal government has come up with a very clever strategy of how to turn the realised utopian idea into a real paradise of real-estate believers. They are calling the process of demolition normalisation. This is an image of the situation where the ones in power – trying to keep it with every means possible – reflect upon themselves in the mirror of the other.
Words don’t come easy
The Danish government is handling the case of the impossible freedom represented in the squat Christiania using the power of words as the smooth operator. Amongst other tactics, young innovative architects have been invited to come up with solutions for creative and alternative living spaces in the area, which is exactly what has been done in Christiania for 35 years. But now with the mechanisms of real benefit – the common denominator for everything written between the lines – Capital. Is this a kind of institutional self-criticism? It is creating an imagined space in reverse and changing what was a lack of control into total control disguised as inclusion and tolerance. In this way, image production of clashes between citizens and law enforcement, fire and blood, is avoided. The responsibility is individualised. And the mirroring is completed by taking something away, claiming and recreating it and selling it back.
This is in direct contrast to the strategy employed by the social democratic municipality in Copenhagen to deal with a sister squat, the 24-year-old Youth House in another part of the city. This house has been a representation of freedom to self-organise and self-govern a culture out of control. The building was simply demolished. After emptying the house of all living beings, which was done by special forces arriving in two helicopters at seven in the morning, the house vanished from the face of the earth – a piece of land of growing value ¬– in less than two days.
Money talks
These are two contrasting but equally violent kinds of power game. The old fashioned social democratic quick and direct physical strategy on the one hand and the mental, long-term strategy of the new order on the other hand. The difference has to do with money and the quantity of real estate. Money changes everything.
I guess the strategy used by Bush and his allies (including the same Danish government) in Baghdad is a mix of the two. On the one hand the quick in-out and on the other hand using the same sweet words with the same violent impact. This was not successful. The image production as well as the budgets got out of control.

Featuring (in order of appearance): George Michael, Michael Jackson, Snap, Laura Branigan, Grace Jones, Madonna, Johnny Logan, Sade, AC/DC, Cindy Lauper, Chicks on Speed, The Gossip, Chic, Lionel Ritchie, Diana Ross and Talking Heads.

^Kristina Ask / artist from Copenhagen
Continue reading Track2 >> click here

The best Copenhagen city guide

Fin de Copenhagen: Asger Jorn and Guy Debord, 1957

As tourists we are accustomed to using city guides. Lonely Planet, Baedeker, Guide du Routard or Wallpaper City Guides provide us with addresses of where to sleep, eat and drink. And, amongst this essential information (honestly, who’s stupid enough not to find a nice café in a city?), they describe some cultural locations not to be missed if we want to have people believe we have really been there.
The book that concerns us was realised within 24 hours in May 1957. It is called Fin de Copenhague and signed by Asger Jorn. Printed at the time in 200 copies, it has been reprinted many times since the 1980s by Editions Allia. It is a collaboration with the French writer Guy Debord and contains only 34 pages. How did their collaboration work? Jorn made large coloured stains on paper by pouring very runny paint, mostly in a single colour (red, green, blue, orange) and sometimes two. To these spots, blobs and drippings (the orientation of the page changes so that it often drips from right to left instead of from up to down...), Guy Debord added words, images and fragments of texts. These lines or words come from magazines, books and newspapers in German, Danish, English, French, etc. The two layers (colour drippings and texts) are superimposed in a way that the first reading seems to be quite illogical.
But, after a while, for the careful reader, the whole thing starts to become clear: this is a map and city guide to Copenhagen! Not only a proto-Situationist version of the cadavre exquis but the result of an exploration of the Danish Capital. The drippings are like the water that cuts the city in two parts, like the lakes that boarder the centre, like Copenhagen’s urban growth, which has developed in quite a liquid way. And the signs that Debord chose are obviously connected to the city: here a bottle of Akvavit, there another of Tuborg, some weather reports, a flight connection to America and the address of a Chinese restaurant (Shanghai, Julius Thomsengade 12, vis-à-vis Forum og Radiohuset). The colour works like an abstract geographical representation and the words provide a commentary, such as the sentence “Un splendide paysage que Bernard Buffet a souvent peint” (A beautiful landscape that Bernard Buffet often painted) written on the corner of a large and strange map indicating Aarhus, Silkeborg and Kalvehave. Fin de Copenhague is better than any map or guide because it shows – with some highly experimental means but simple technique – the city as it is. And that’s probably why, a few weeks later, Guy Debord was able to make a collage about Paris entitled: The Naked City. Here you get Copenhagen fully undressed. Funnily, as a conclusion to the publication, Jorn and Debord ask us to “tell [them] in not more than 250 words why [our] girl is the sweetest girl in town”. Answers to be sent to the ICA in London. Well, at that time, sex tourism was probably not what it is now and tourists were still travelling with their own girlfriends.
Thanks Fin de Copenhague. This may be a new market for guidebooks. Something that invites us not simply to follow some directions but gives weird and loose indications to help us live an adventurous life within the frame of too-clean European cities. For fifty years now Fin de Copenhague has been showing us the best way to get lost (and drunk) in Copenhagen. To live adventures, to discover, to party and to enjoy. All of those things that city guides, nowadays, carefully try to avoid. As lazy critics write: essential reading!

^Thibaut de Ruyter, Belgium architect and writer living in Berlin

Email from Åsa Sonjasdotter

Hi Rob & Nienke, Here are my answers!

Why did you leave Denmark?
I left Denmark one and a half year ago because I wanted to change my situation at the moment. I haven’t left Denmark for good.
Do you feel as an ambassador for your country?
I’m an ambassador for the island of Ven in Öresund. For 30 years, after a war between Denmark and Sweden, Ven didn’t belong to any nation. The people on Ven have always taken care of themselves. Still, it’s not an isolated place, many people on Ven are sailors, they have always been sailing a lot and fallen in love with men and women in harbours all over the world. The people living on Ven come from all places. What brings them together is the fact that they live on Ven. To live there is a kind of resistance in itself.
Do you feel any different from other migrants?
Yes, or you can say that I’m one very typical kind of migrant. I got papers; a EU passport and a corporate Visa card. I collaborated for some years with a paper-less migrant. From this I learned that money is what defines your status as a migrant, not geographical background or political situation. A political refugee is a poor refugee. If you have money, you can buy yourself a citizenship anywhere.
What is your home?
My permanent address is in Copenhagen. My potato- and onion field is on the island of Ven.
Do you feel leaving your country is betraying your country?
Leaving Denmark during the current political situation becomes an issue, no matter if politics are the reason for your move or not. It’s very destructive what is happening there at the moment. The current government has decided to spend a lot of money on re-branding Denmark internationally. A cheaper way would be to change politics. Denmark has for sure become world famous for intolerance and racism. If you want to use such terms, you could say that the current Danish government is betraying its country by giving it such bad reputation.
Do you feel that you belong to your new country or do you still feel as a tourist?
I had lived in Germany before I moved to Denmark, so it’s a bit of a homecoming to be back. I’ve actually become more curious on Sweden, where I’m born, after I left Denmark where I’ve lived for 10 years. As a non-Dane in Denmark, you easily become occupied with Denmark and Danish self-understanding. I felt I had either to work with that as a topic in my art, or to leave the country. Now, when I’m based in Germany for a while, I can see both Denmark and Sweden at distance, and I realize that there are a lot of things in Sweden that I want to know more about. At the moment I study Swedish feminist history. It’s interesting how feminism and ecology often has been strongly connected in Sweden. That’s something I research at the moment.
What do you think you will forget to appreciate when staying in Copenhagen?
I’m not sure I understand the question.
Does Denmark still exist in your dreams?
Denmark is a part of my dreams and realities.
Do you miss the sky over Denmark?
The light at sunset in Copenhagen is very beautiful.
And the smell of the sea?
The smelling sea of Denmark is the same sea as in the rest of the world. I love the smell of that sea.
What does the word “Place” Mean to you?
I work a lot with the topic. Few people do not struggle with this in some way or other. It’s going to change, but not stop, when oil is finished, which is yet another tension connected to “place”.
What does FREEDOM mean to you?
Freedom is connected to Power. Power is not the same as Force. To live with/by Power can be Freedom; to live with/by Force is never Freedom. Freedom is very fragile and not big as the ocean. I think it’s relevant to speak about Freedom. For me, the notion of Freedom is connected to a vision within politics, but it has to be clarified.

Åsa Sonjasdotter, Berlin, Germany


^ Lise Harlev - Danish artist living in Berlin

Demonstration on March 10 at Sankt Hans Torv in Copenhagen against the demolition of the Youth House.

Artists Correspondence
This is a correspondence for the FGA-Cph edition between so:ren, a Danish artist who studied art at the Rietveld and emmigrated to Zurich, and his friend Christian, also a Danish artist, who lives in Vienna.

On 5 March, 2007 at 11:38
Søren wrote:

Well Christian, if we want more than the five million Danes to understand our discussion I believe English would be the most appropriate language to use in our correspondence. If you are too busy let me know. The deadline is in April.
When I was invited to participate in the second International Dada-Festwochen in Zurich in 2003 I invited you to join me. Let’s say the ‘plan’ was that we would stay for a week or two. But in your case (correct me if I am wrong) you left behind your philosophy studies, your girlfriend and your belongings in Denmark and stayed in Zurich for almost two years. Why did you make that decision? At that time I was studying at the Rietveld art academy in Amsterdam and made everything I did at the Dada-Festwochen (which lasted for five months) a part of my study in Amsterdam but I did not give up Amsterdam like I gave up Denmark. Zurich just became like a second home to me. It was a pain in the ass to go back to Rietveld constantly and spend more time discussing with the teachers. It actually pays off to get out of the school grounds rather than sit on a 4m2 shared space in classical Rietveld grey and make art! I wonder whether schools are geared up for this new generation of global-local artists.
Let me know what you think.
so:ren --------------------------------------
On 7 March, 2007 at 13:40
Christian Falsnaes wrote:

Dear so:ren,
Thank you for your mail, and for choosing me as your corresponding friend. It is completely true that I gave up the life I was living in Copenhagen to stay and live in Zurich after the Dada-Festwochen had ended. The decision to leave behind the things you mention was not as difficult as it may sound. Actually, at that time I was experimenting a lot with my life-form and with breaking certain norms and social patterns etc., so I kinda took the chance to make an actual experiment, that is giving up everything and going somewhere without anything. I would actually advise anyone who likes to investigate his or her own borders to try it.
Anyway, in the beginning everything seemed quite exotic in Zurich, living in a squat and everything, but I experienced quite quickly that circumstances were not so different after all. I guess that all cities in Europe are fairly similar, at least in terms of system, norms, culture and people. That is one experience I had with moving abroad, that even though everything seems different at first, you find out that it is actually somehow the same. Humans are humans. I don't know what you think of this assumption, but for me that is approximately how I feel.
As for your question as to whether art schools are geared up for the new generation of global-local artists, I think that may be a wrong way of seeing the problems arising from the form and institution of art studies. I suggest the real question is whether tomorrow’s artists need art schools at all? A positive side effect of Web 2.0, MySpace etc. is that artists are now capable of promoting themselves to an unprecedented degree. Musicians don’t need the structure of a record company because they can promote themselves on the net, let people download their music for free and earn money through concerts.
The success of visual artists seems very dependent on the ability to work within the structure of the so-called ‘art world’ and adapt to its demands. Traditionally, art schools had been seen as one of the best ways to provide the opportunities for integration and learn the rules of adaption. The question is if future artists, communicating via the internet and having friends in Shanghai as well as in Copenhagen, really need this assimilation and acceptance of the institution, or if they will manage to create new ways of rising up and achieve success?
On 10 Mar, 2007, at 18:09
Søren wrote:

hi c,
I have had the same experience as you, humans are humans, whether locally or globally.
I am still wondering about the consequences for art production, because, while the world has shrunk in the sense of quick international travel, the art works have grown in the sense of more global and social art works. The knowledge construction and production of art is more often in a broader perspective than earlier. You mention MySpace, to which I would add YouTube amongst many other platforms for artists to promote themselves. These platforms provide access for a global audience, which affects the reflecting artist being aware that everyone is able to watch. As I write Turkey has banned YouTube because of movies disrespecting and criticising the ruling government have been published on it. I can imagine a rise in similar incidents like this in Western Europe in future.
You ask: will future artists need art schools? I guess it will be up to the art institution or institutions in general to provide an environment where the future artist wants to be. Then it might be the art institution that needs the future artist than vice versa. Do you think more globally now that you are living (as a local) in Vienna? It is inspiring to travel and to meet different people, cultures etc. But we can also meet people in the virtual world in virtual-reality environments such as Second Life, World of Warcraft and Counter-Strike to name just a few.  Are we globally virtual and local in reality?
I met you last week in Second Life at a support party for the ‘Ungdomshuset’, the Youth House that was cleared by police on 1 March and demolished a few days later. I still haven’t defined this experience of meeting you virtually. Normally we talk A LOT when we meet, so the first barrier was clearly that we could only chat (write). But it is only a matter of time before live talk is possible in Second Life. Although your avatar did not look exactly like you there was no doubt that it was you. Somehow we were acting as we do in real life when visiting a new place, like reflecting on our surroundings, being critical of what we saw etc. How was your experience? Not regarding the status of Second Life (a commercial capitalistic virtual place). Are humans human virtually as well as in reality?
On 12 Mar, 2007, at 11:11
Søren wrote:

Hi Christian,
Please excuse my writing again before giving you a chance to respond to  my last email, but I just read something really interesting in Information (Danish Newspaper) about Baudrillard. According to the journalist, Baudrillard wrote (freely translated from Danish into English by me): “The old bon mot ‘reality is stronger than fiction’, to which the Surrealist aesthetic of reality belonged, has now been overtaken. There is no longer a fiction which life can confront – not even to go beyond fiction. Reality has become a game of reality. The virtual is, in reality, the horizon of the real.” The journalist adds: “The party first starts when it is televised – when it is  hyper reality in the media version.” I somehow see a connection to my question: are humans human virtually as well as in reality?
On 16 Mar, 2007, at 9:31
Christian Falsnaes wrote:

hi so:ren,
No I do not feel that I think more ‘globally’ now because I live in Vienna and not in Copenhagen. I still switch between my local environment and global contacts, sometimes several times a day, and I still have an abstract relation to the actual proportions of the planet, even though I travel around and write emails to distant strangers. The fact that I can communicate via a global network and travel by plane makes the actual difference between living in Vienna and living in Copenhagen just a matter of architecture and local climate. My feeling of being a very small piece in a very big construction (the universe) trying to navigate through a weird mixture of atomic as well as universal information is exactly the same. I guess that’s just how it is to be human, which leads me directly to your second question: Are humans human virtually as well as in reality? If I understand your question correctly, you want to know if I believe the interaction I have with others in ‘real life’ is different from the interaction I have with people over the internet. You mention my Second Life avatar – a weird-looking guy with an extremely big nose and long thin legs wearing a t-shirt with a Hawaii beach scene on it – and say that you felt very certain it was me even though the avatar looked different.
My question would then be what am ‘I’ supposed to be? Am I the sum of all the information output that I produce or am I my body? I would rather ask whether the body that I, for unknown reasons, was born into could also be seen as an avatar. I mean, I have to invest time and money in the appearance of my ‘real life’ avatar, my body and my clothes, just as I have to in Second Life or any other online world. The feeling of identification with my body is a construction just like my feeling of identification with some digital avatar.
I must say though, that I prefer to see you in real life, maybe because the resolution is so much higher. I don’t like Second Life that much. Besides being a cheap copy of the good old capitalist system, the communication appears to be nothing but a complicated chat-room. I am not so interested in visiting the new virtual headquarters of Nike, so communication and interaction are my main concerns. If we could practice our experimental Kung Fu in Second Life, I guess I would find it much more fun.
Nevertheless, since we live around 1000 km from each other, I am happy that I can communicate with you at all. I get less information from you if I communicate with you in Second Life (mainly written messages and lame emotes) than if you visit me in Vienna (messages that stimulate all my senses and experimental Kung Fu), but I still get a bit. That ‘bit’ of information is clearly a part of you in my opinion, so yes I am with you when we meet over the internet or speak on the phone. I just receive you in a lower resolution.
To return to the main theme of our discussion – the influence of globalisation and all its aspects on individual artistic production – I definitely see possibilities in relation to online worlds of different sorts. I think it is quite realistic to be able to live purely from virtual-art production, but I think the preferable option is an unconventional mixture of all available communication channels. The relationship between the places I exhibit contains so many layers already that a virtual 3D world is just one more layer. I think it is very interesting to consider how this increase in the abstraction of everyday life is going to influence the way we consider our identity when it becomes normal to have two, three or several avatars instead of just one (the body), when you have to move through multiple online worlds with different avatars and contacts in addition to living in one country and working in another.
But what is your experience? You live in Switzerland now and might see things differently. Do you feel or think more ‘globally’ now that you have moved abroad? What is your experience with communication and artistic production over the internet? What is global to you?
On 21 Mar, 2007, at 22:55
Søren wrote:
Hi Christian,
Elementary, global is global, mother earth, our planet. The internet provides a virtual global contact that has made me think more globally, virtually.  But because I live in Switzerland now and I lived in Holland before that, I don’t believe my thoughts would be less global if I still lived in Denmark. Producing art abroad has inspired me to be critical of works directly connected with the country I am living in. So, in that sense one could argue that being abroad has inspired me to, for example, plant a Danish oak tree in Appenzell in Switzerland. So is this a consequence for my art production? In one way yes, but living in Denmark and just visiting my neighbour could create the same kind of art production that would leave one experiencing the art work in the same way as, for example, the Danish oak tree.
You ask: can the body I was born into be seen as an avatar? I think the bodies we have been born into are avatars. I think it as almost certain that we in the near future we will all control several avatars. One could argue that we already do this. For example, someone can be a parent at home, a boss at work, and a friend visiting friends: all three avatars controlled by one brain. Now we can add to that the person’s online chat name, in different chat rooms with different chat bodies and probably another avatar or two in Second Life.
I would rather ask: what is the minimum number of avatars required in order to live from online art production? Will it be possible to live a (western standard) life at all in the future without online avatars? I really appreciate our experimental Kung Fu too. I am looking forward to continuing where we left off in real life next time we meet, hopefully in the near future. But isn’t it just a question of time before we are able to jump into our virtual suit, look at each other and begin our experimental Kung-Fu online? It seems that the consequences for art production lie much more in the world wide web than in artists travelling from metropolis to metropolis.


From: so:ren
Subject: the danish tree has got lice
Date: May 27, 2007 12:14:26 PM GMT+02:00
To: mail@fuckinggoodart.nl

hi rob and nienke

the Danish tree has got lice, -yet i haven't put it in the ground. it seems to already have a hard time in its new surrounding and environment here in Zürich.
but the tree has got some (unexpected) help from the ants that are now fighting the lice.

it's a war out there.....


^ The Danish tree

List of Art Spaces in Cph

Alternative exhibition
spaces in the 1990s

* Artnode. 1995
* Baghuset. 1987
* Basilisk. 1888
* BizArt. 1990
* Demonstrationslokalet for kunst. 1989
* Eat me. 1996
* Edition Campbell’s Occasionally. 1992
* Galleri Campbell’s Occasionally. 1990
* Galleri Phoenix. 1997
* Globe. 1992
* Hallo! 1999
* Hjemme hos Peter Land. 1992
* i-n-k - Institut for Nutidskunst. 2001
* Kvinder på Værtshus. 1997
* Kørners Kontor. 1997
* Max Mundus. 1994
* Mfkokm. 1997
* Museum. 1989
* North. 1996
* OTTO. 1997
* Ravnsborggade 2A (R2A). 1992
* Saga Basement. 1994
* TAPKO. 1991
* Udstillingsstedet. 1994
* Udstillingsstedet 1%. 1997

Winter 2007 Alternative exhibition-spaces

Autonomous alternative exhibitions-spaces
*Air Play - Street Gallery
* ArtRebels
* Copenhagen Free University
* Fung Sway
* Galleri Signe Vad
* Gallopperiet
* Graffitigalleriet
* Kabine
* Koh-I-Noor
* Jægersborggade 47
* Learning Site
* NLH space
* OEen group
* Publik
* Q
* Showroom - Fabrikken For Kunst og Design
* Spark
* Telefontilchefen
* Think Ink
* 036 - arkitekturlaboratorium

* Afsnitp.dk
* Artnode.dk
* Netfilmmakers

Spaces with exhibitions as secondary activity
* Danske Grafikeres Hus
* Bjørn Ignatius Frederiksbergske Billedkunstskole
* Bryggeriets Hus
* Byens Kro
* Café Kong Christian
* Gefährlich
* Minuit Vernissage
* Verdens Mindste Kaffebar
* Politikens Galleri

Exhibition-spaces permanently supported by public funding
*Charlottenborg Udstillingsbygning
* Den Frie
* Fotografisk Center
* Gentofte Hovedbibliotek
* Kunstforeningen Gl. Strand
* Kunsthallen Nikolaj
* Møstings Hus
* Nordatlantens Brygge
* Overgaden
* Sophienholm
* Råhuset

^ Dina Vester Feilberg, Mia Broe Jakobsen, Naja Rasmussen, Maibritt Pedersen and Niels Henriksen.

Spaces Left Over After Planning - an architectural tour in Christiania and the new building area Ørestad, a masterplan by Daniel Liebeskind.
It’s raining, but nonetheless we’re going for a walk with Iben Krause, A Danish architect whom we know from Arnhem (NL), where she lived and worked. She has also lived in Buenos Aires, but now she is back in Copenhagen. We start our walk on Refshalevej.

Iben Krause> It’s strange. It looks a lot like where my father lives: an ecological, self-sufficient village. It all looks very romantic. It’s as if, when people build their own house, it has to look at least two hundred years old, like something from The Lord of the Rings. As an architect you can have all kinds of other opinions, but somehow you really have to take that into account.
Nienke Terpsma> There have been very nice experiments too.
Iben> I think many things people make themselves are based on a feeling or a memory rather than a well-considered plan of practical solutions and a particular idea about space.
Nienke> Somebody did a study on these houses here; some are extensions upon extensions, starting with a caravan.
Iben> Yes, that’s true. In my father’s village they often start with a wish to make something organic and for the rest it is negative starting points: something not square, not made of concrete.. The square is evil — freedom of mind is not a square!* Often resulting in a shape that is not inherently that strong, and in a really inefficient ground plan with lots of little triangles that you can’t use for anything except piling up dust. I once heard there is a word within urban planning for these corners that have no interesting shape and no purpose: SLOAP – Spaces Left Over After Planning. There are a lot of those here. I think it’s a reaction to the industrial building process of the 1970s. The concrete monsters of that time gave straight lines a bad reputation.
“If it isn’t square it’s good.”

We decide to continue the tour by car rather than stay here in the rain. We drive to Ørestad, a newly developed area. There is a new trend in Copenhagen, that Iben wants to show us; all the new housing blocks have glass façades. The people live in a shop window! We drive southwards via Kløvermarksvej and to Ørestad Nord.

Iben> In my father’s village a woman in her fifties suddenly started to build her own house.
And she finished it, and now she lives in it. And maybe it’s not super-pretty, but she did it, and it’s a victory for the rest of her life. So I realise it’s very easy for an architect to be snobbish. Really, I do think about why people want such conservative houses. Perhaps it is a conclusion to say that they don’t like what we, the architects make?
Nienke> How do you start to build when you don’t know how to build?
Iben> If you don’t know how to build you start with some things you find important. Then you realise more things that you need; you get a disorganised process and probably also a disorganised result. Look, this house is also homemade. There are a lot of ideas here, but I don’t think it’s well proportioned. There are a bit too many ideas in it for my taste. It’s one of the ones I like best though. The re-used bricks are nice.
Nienke> I like how the windows are flush with the wall.
Iben> Yes, I like that too. But as an architect and technician I can tell that they probably have problems, because that is very hard to do it without letting water in.

We pass the sturdy old ramparts that have been turned into a gallery, and an old flying boat hangar that has been turned into an office. It has huge doors, big pillars supporting it. It’s by a talented Danish architect called Dorte Mandrup.

Iben> Now we’re going to pass something very Danish....
Rob> Volkstuinen!!! (Allotments)
Iben> Kolonihaver! They have in a way the same dream as in Christiania, a house that you build yourself.
Rob> The houses are big!
Iben> That is normal in Denmark. People spend the summer here. It is highly regulated and planned, and much closer to each other then in Christiania. There are all sorts of rules about not having the grass too long.
Rob> Look: grundlagt 1892.
Iben> This is the oldest one of the allotments, and this little fake mosque is the most photographed old house here.

We drive past allotments interspersed with parts of Christiania and then drive back into the city over the Christmas Møllers Plads. Iben points out the Hotel Scandinavia – a ’70s tower. ‘It actually has a beautiful public restaurant at the top with a great view over the city.’

Iben> There is a lot of discussion about where tall buildings are permitted in Copenhagen. EEA office was going to build a tower in Christianshavn but it was cancelled because of the protests. Now there is one area reserved for tall buildings: Ørestaden. It’s a new area and you can plan it from scratch. People argue that the centre is already complete. They don’t want to ruin the old skyline of narrow church towers and copper roofs.

We’re close to Islands Brygge now, where the new galleries Christina Wilson and Gallery Nicolai Wallner are.

Iben> This is a working-class area. They’re building a new city here; they’re trying to keep the families in the city. That building site will be a school, built ecologically – a good environment for children. The tradition used to be that you came to Copenhagen as a student and when you graduated and started to earn money you would move to the suburbs, taking the children out of town too. So the kindergartens are in town, but the infrastructure for older children used to be in the suburbs. That’s changing now: people want to stay in the city.

We enter the area with the glazed buildings. We’re reaching the harbour area. We pass Madeleine’s food theatre. It is just an ugly prefab warehouse building from the outside. The area is empty, a bit messy, and a very strange location to find the Youth Hostel.

Rob> Do people go to the Madeleine’s Food Theatre? It’s so far out of the city for an evening out?
Iben> It’s not so far out of town. It’s close to the new gallery area – Valby – the metro stops here and by car it’s very close to town. When we went there were 20 or more people. Mette Sia Martinussen, who started it, had a nice little restaurant before called First Floor To The Left. It was just a normal apartment where she had people over for dinner.
Now we’re reaching an Island called Amager. Two or three hundred years ago Denmark brought in Dutch people to grow vegetables here. Really! It’s all connected. They supplied the city with fresh vegetables. The houses are Dutch and the street names: it is Holland Island. It was controlled immigration – they had all of them safely on this island. That isn’t a new idea either.

It is quite rural suddenly, but within minutes the landscape changes again. We see the new metro line connecting with the new developments – the huge building site of the 21,000m2, 1,600-seat concert hall by Jean Prouvé and already 7 million DKK (100,000 Euros) over budget.** A metro station again – an elevated line – houses with balconies almost overhanging the rails. We enter the area Daniel Liebeskind is masterplanning and we cross the railway line that leads to Sweden. We see Denmark’s first tall building – twenty stories, 80 metres by Henning Larsen Architects and then stop at PLOT’s residential building in the shape of a V and an M, the VM-houses. Contrary to expectations, they were all sold within a few days. The rooms all have floor-to ceiling windows and coloured glass – the balconies too. It does look like shop windows. Some people played with the visibility and created displays, others closed the facade off with curtains.

Nienke> It is like being in a Dutch suburb....
Iben> Yes, there is a lot of Dutch inspiration here in the houses. We’re now heading back to Christianshaven, which was built by Dutch people in the seventeenth century. They were invited here because they knew how to build on stilts. It was reclaimed land that had been pumped dry.

We’re still on Amager, driving over Langebro, and on the left we see Kalvebod Brygge and a lot of brick and glass boxes. On the right side of the bridge a big tilted, black marble box shows a little more imagination.

Iben> This is very bad urban planning, Very ugly use of the harbour; just big autistic office blocks. A big mistake. This is a bit better planned: at least it’s used for a public place: the library – the Black Diamond, designed by Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen.
Nienke> Is there much privatised land here in the city? Sold to project developers?
Iben> Yes, this part at the harbour was sold by the municipality because it really needed money. It was almost bankrupt at the time. They just sold it to the highest bidder rather than making plans and restrictions. And then you get stuff like that.
Nienke> What would it mean to the city if there is no SLOAP left? No space left over after planning? I mean, in Denmark as well as in Holland that is quite imaginable.
Iben> SLOAP is actually ment to be a negative word, but yes, a city will die if there are no SLOAP left: it’ll just become another suburban environment.

** This is the first time a major architect has been commissioned to design a building in Copenhagen since Nicolas-Henri Jardin 250 years ago introduced the latest architectural style, Neo-Classicism, to Denmark.(www.arcspace.com)

^FGA / and Iben Krause - she is an architect living in Copenhagen, lived a few years in The Netherlands

Robert Hamelijnck & Nienke Terpsma

Editorial studio in the Netherlands
Calandstraat 3-b,
3016 CA Rotterdam
T/F +31 (0)10.436.5996
Contact us via

Fucking Good Art was first published December 2003 and is published in print and on the internet. Our trusty A3 folded A5 pink pamphlet appears every two months on an irregular basis and is distributed for free as hand-out – in selfless service to our community.
The paperback editions FGA#10 – The Interviews and FGA#12 – International edition / Berlin are co-published and distributed worldwide by episode-publishers Rotterdam and Revolver in Frankfurt.

English Translation/copy editing
Gerard Forde

Printed by
De Boog Rotterdam

We like to thank
Kristina Ask, Michael Baers, Søren Berner, Matilde Digmann, Jesper Fabricius, Christian Falsnaes, Nicoline van Harskamp, Lise Harlev, Niels Henriksen, Jakob Jakobsen, Anders Gaardbo Jensen, Åse Eg Jørgensen, Koh-I-Noor, Iben Krause, Johanne Loegstrup, Maibritt Pederson, Nis Rømer, Thibaut de Ruyter, Judith Schwarzbart, Erik Steffensen, Katarina Stenbeck, Karen Toftegaard


Fucking Good Art – Copenhagen FREE edition was made for How do you Belong? – five art projects in public space, organised by Katarina Stenbeck and Johanne Loegstrup from Publik

catalogtree.net (webdesign) en korhoen.net (authoring).