Optegning af karton til Koldinghus-gobelin

Tapestries for Koldinghus

New Carlsberg Foundation has donated 17 large tapestries to Koldinghus on the occasion of the castle's 750th anniversary

The tapesties will be created by the Danish contemporary artists Bjørn Nørgaard, Tal R, Kirstine Roepstorff and Alexander Tovborg. They will be woven in Paris, and are expected to be ready for hanging in Koldinghus’ two large halls, Dansesalen and Riddersalen, in five years. 

The tapestries are based on Koldinghus’ 750-year history and must communicate themes that can link the castle’s past to the present.

Speech held at the opening of Koldinghus Tapestry Cartons at Koldinghus in Denmark

Art is and has always been universal in its being, but still based on a special space and expressed through one person. From this, art spreads itself and taking part in the world on a local, national, regional and global scale.

Art expresses the instant, the impulsive, a specific time, the history, the tradition and the long-term perspectives, and when it succeeds, it makes these elements come together in an image/a work, that points into the future.

The starting point for making art today can be anything, anywhere, anytime, but just because anything can be art, does not mean everything is art.

The digital/global space’s complete lack of a joint general systematism has caused the art market’s nominal notion of value to be considered as a common scale of measurement. This has led to a general acceptance of an actual artistic market strategy and the elevation of opportunism as legitimate artistic work.

But how can art evolve without a deeper understanding of what art is, and by knowing how it has changed over the time. To quote Walter Benjamin "The origin of the future".

When four Danish artists get invited to make these tapestries to Koldinghus; one older and three youngers, the subject is clear – to make tapestries that are based on the Danish history and must communicate themes that can link the past to the present. Through the use of this ancient form of textile art which has been practised all over the world for thousands of years, it immediately confronts the viewer about yesterday, now and tomorrow. How do we carry history into new visions for the future?

New Carlsberg Foundation has asked me to be the supervisor and mentor in this project, that in its ultimate essence is an artistic discourse. Therefore, it is crucial to make and complete the project right now.

During the period from 1988–2000, I had the privilege of making 17 tapestries at Manufacture de Gobelins and Manufacture Beauvais National in France for Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark.

Now I have the privilege of introducing younger colleagues to these outstanding weavers with their long history. It will expand the visions and the artistic thoughts behind the works.

It is unique that we managed to establish this collaboration between France and the two large weavers, and Denmark and the New Carlsberg Foundation. This way the "tradition" can continue into the future.

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