“The Two Houses”
Bjørn Nørgaard reflects in the exhibition ‘De to Huse’ / ‘The two Houses’ over the collaborations with his now deceased colleague, Henning Christiansen (1932-2008). The exhibition moves through their lifelong performance practice through sound as material, forming the tones and forms for performing their actions. The exhibition shows 4 elements: Video from an action in Kassel: Gute Heute, Leute, 2006, La Maison Imaginiare (plasterhouse), Beuys Pit 75 Valhalla (klaver), and Arkitektura Natura (wall of land).
“Our joint meetings extended from 1965 until Henning’s death in 2008. Forty-three years where we spoke in parallel in rooms, but occasionally the two rooms met in a new meaning.”
De to Huse’ / ‘The two Houses should be understood as complementary. One space is pure in material – a tactile expression on the understanding that materials and forms are alive and affect us physically and mentally as we move through urban space. The more homogeneous architecture is designed and performed, to a large extend, the more limited our mental state. The more predictable and monotonous the uses of materials are, the less we can interpret ourselves into the city.
The other room functions as an imaginary space. An open structure where Henning Christiansen’s piano: Beuys Pit Valhalla (1996), is installed, referring to Henning’s many entries to ‘Musik als Grün’, including real sounds, mechanical sounds, canary birds, hens, instruments and not least the language like sound. “I have no opinions, I have sound”, said Henning Christiansen, as we move through the city’s sound, and the starting point is that only when it is completely quiet and completely empty.
The Wall – Bjørn Nørgaard has built a wall in the field.
“I’m building a wall of land. ‘From earth you have come, to earth you will stay'”.
Bjørn Nørgaard’s first wall was Menneskemuren / The Human Wall in 1982. It was originally built for a Nordic exhibition at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. It was an optimistic global wall with representations from different cultures around the world and a caricatured capitalist money on the top. Seven years later, when the Berlin Wall fell, the world opened. However, Nørgaard couldn’t engage with the hubris.
The world wasted the 90’s on foolish abuse of opportunities and with 9/11 and the Iraq War, everything smoked to the floor. Now walls are being built in Israel, Europe, and perhaps Trump’s wall against Mexico.
When Henning Christiansen exhibited the fluxus piano Beuys Pit Valhalla (1996), at the 2001 Venice Biennale, he commented on the notion of the wall, “System of Freedom: those who build a wall around their own spirituality – risk to lose – it. (VALHALLA)
Since Henning Christiansen and Ursula Christiansen moved to Askeby on Møn in 1970, Bakkehøjgård framed many gatherings, conversations, and visits by international artists. In 1986, René and Ursula Block move into the house next door and by 1990, Bjørn Nørgaard and lene Adler Petersen also bought a property on Møn. All this and much more led to the Art Association 44Møen, which was formed in 2007, shortly before the Kunsthal opened in 2008. From a historical perspective, a large part of Bjørn Nørgaard and Henning Christiansen’s art is anchored on Møn. To emphasis their relevance to the place, which is still changing, 44Møen’s artistic director, René has invited Nørgaard to exhibition and develop a site-specific installation.
2016: Bjørn Nørgaard, “Drømme i mængde er tomhed, det gælder også ord i mængde”, Galleri Susanne Ottesen, København. 2015:”Rolling Snowball 6″ Djupivogur, Island, “Den Frie Forårsudstilling” Den Frie Udstilling. “Ich kenne kein weekend” NBK Berlin. 2016 “Remember Lidice” Edition Block Berlin. 2014: DER URSPRUNG DER ZUKUNFT, at YEARS, Copenhagen, Denmark. Skulptur og maleri, Huset i Asnæs, Asnæs, Danmark. Re-modelling the World – again again again, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China 2013: Riv dette tempel ned, Ikast Kunstpakhus, Ikast, Denmark 2012: Fake – som i et spejl, Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen, Denmark Udvalgt grafik, Hornslet Kunstforening, Hornslet, Denmark Spørger Jørgen stadig. Politikens Forhal, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2010: Bjørn Nørgaard, Langes Magasin, Frederikssund Kunstforening, Frederikssund, Denmark. Bjørn Nørgaard. Udvalgt Grafik og Småskulpturer, GrafikGalleriet, Næstved, Denmark. Re-cycling Art, Horsens Kunstmuseum, Horsens, Denmark. Re-modelling the world, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark. Englefisse, Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2009: Bjørn Nørgaard – Mythos und Morphologie, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Chemnitz, Germany.
The exhibition is supported by Danish Arts Foundation & Vordingborg municipality.