Center for Klangkunst


  • Newcomers

Ursula Reuter Christiansen, "Lenin skriver de svenske trælle ud af stenene / Lenin is writing the Swedish slaves out of the rocks", 1976

The decade between 1970 and 1980 in Denmark saw a wave of alternative-minded people, hippies, activist and young families moving from the cities to the countryside. Among other places, Møn became a hub, a popular destination especially for those migrating to the island from nearby Copenhagen.

These Newcomers, or Tilflytterne, as they were called by the local people, quickly organised to form new cultural and social platforms, such as the association Land and City (Land & By) running a magazine and a cooperative of the same name were local and organic products were distributed. Inspired by the hippie- and new social movements at the beginning of the seventies, many of the Newcomers ventured in self-subsistence farming, while working as artists, film-makers, architects or artisans and craftspeople. With their alternative lifestyles and their attempts at realising small-scale socialist or ecological utopias on the island, this new movement was not always welcomed by the local population. However, the Newcomers did also form alliances with locals and befriended their neighbours, contributing to the rejuvenation and social development of the island.

In 1970, composer and artist Henning Christiansen and his wife, the artist Ursula Reuter Christiansen moved to Møn, being among the first new settlers from Copenhagen. Both were members of the Danish Communist Party and, together with a growing number of like-minded people, became actively involved in this new alternative scene, initiating cultural and political projects such as the party alliance called Liste Ø, a local political experiment on the island of Møn. This local coalition of Socialist Peoples Party, Danish Communist Party and Left Socialist Party was not welcomed by the main parties outside the island. Henning Christiansen was the top candidate for the local parliament elections in 1974, but missed to be elected into the local parliament by only 6 votes.

After this initial disappointment, the focus was shifted towards self-organised alternative press and the magazine Ø-bladet was started with big success. The first issues were made with stencils, later offset-print was introduced by Karsten Blem with the possibility of producing a larger edition: up to 800 copies for an island with 11.000 inhabitants. Land & By magazine continued as a members magazine with a significant ecological and anti-political line.

The exhibition Tilflyterne / Newcomers presents a variety of materials and documents from this period, illustrating the different self-organised projects and also tracing some of the local cases of fraud or mismanagement by the ruling elite of the island, who found themselves challenged and exposed by the Newcomers and their independent newspaper Ø-bladet.

The documents are presented together with artworks by Henning Christiansen and Ursula Reuter Christiansen, reflecting how their political and social engagement inspired their artistic production, and vice versa. Especially the large and vivid paintings by Ursula Reuter Christiansen make tangible the motives and motivations of this period, including Lenin portraits as well as hand-painted campaign posters and portraits of workers from the porcellaine or gravel factories.

The accompanying events will bring together some of the protagonists of this movement, re-enacting the infamous Ø-party in Askeby.

Curated by Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen. Artist and Museumtechnician. He studiet at the University of fine arts in Berlin and the Royal Academy in Kopenhagen. He is born in Næstved, Denamrk in 1974 and grew up on the island of Møn, Denmark. He is the youngest son of Ursula Reuter Christiansen and Henning Christiansen. He lives and works in Bergen, Norway.

Supported by:
Augustinus Fonden
Knud Højgaards Fond
15. Juni Fonden
Statens Kunstfond
Vordingborg Kommune

Ursula Reuter Christiansen, "Minearbejder / Mineworker", 1976

Ursula Reuter Christiansen, "Lisboa", 1975

Ø-bladet / The Island Magazine

DKP Møn Posters