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Tumult – A public art festival in Nakskov, Nykøbing F, Vordingborg & Stege. Denmark

Film still from Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani’s The Line

What is the impact on a town when it is decided that old housing blocks are to be demolished and replaced by modern housing estates? What happens when big companies close and reopen in other locations? Who decides the direction and priorities of where we are heading as a country, a society and a community? These are among the questions posed by the public art festival Tumult with 21 art projects in public spaces in the so-called periphery of Denmark.

Wooloo's New Life Horbelev

Tumult is an international public art festival, locally based but with an international vision, which took place on the Danish islands Lolland, Falster and Møn and in Vordingborg from 22 August – 24 October 2010. As a common thread, all of the artists made contributions that worked physically and socially with the history, customs, qualities, problems, reputation, self-image and future of the region as it is being challenged by changes in the political landscape through recent public sector reforms and restructuring, as well as globalization and the financial crisis. The art projects in public spaces intended to gain new perspectives on the current debate where many towns, municipalities and regions, have begun to be seen as unattractive peripheral places.

Twenty-one artists and artist groups presented projects that focused on broad issues around the effect on people living through the transformation from old to new industries. These included the relationship of a sugar factory to the surrounding town and community and how an outdoor fitness park can be created in co-operation with local citizens to local sculptural heritage, buildings due for demolition to advice on life in general.

Superflex’s Hotline to the Periphery created a psychotherapist to guide telephone callers through our internal geographical and cultural conceptions of the centre versus the outlying areas. Telephone: +45 5473 2676 or +45 5467 7007 to listen to the hotline.

Mark Dion’s project, A Baker’s Dozen to the Goose Tower, questions whether the museum’s presentation of historical objects and its way of arranging the world is factual or fictional using objects and artifacts copied from local history archives on Lolland, Falster and Møn and in Vordingborg.

Aleksandra Mir’s anthropological interview project, Visionaries of Lolland, gathered shared experiences anonymously to make public statements and opinions that examine common issues of life and failure and portray the contrasts and similarities between different cultures. These will be incorporated into a global project and book series bearing the title How Not To, which covers such subjects as How Not To Cook, Romance, Parent, Travel, Work, Sport, Art, Nature, Pet and Live & Die.

Like an archaeologist of the modern world, Thomas Kilpper moved into empty and abandoned apartments in four buildings due for demolition and carried out a series of installations and decorations reflecting on the nature of buildings with no future.

In the video The Line, Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani followed a former shipbuilder to focus on the loss of identity arsing when a community loses its principal workplace and a traditional craft.

Participating artists: A Kassen; Arkiv Stakit Kasket; Mark Dion; Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani; Kristoffer & Mette Glyholt; Frans Jacobi; Thomas Kilpper; Rikke Cora Larsen & Carina Jo Sivager; Søren Lose; Marie Lund; Mads Lynnerup; Aleksandra Mir; Tea Mäkipää; Miriam Nielsen; Parfyme; Tanja Nellemann Poulsen; Katya Sander; Superflex; Bettina Camilla Vestergaard; Danh Vo; Wooloo.

Tumult was organized by the municipalities of Vordingborg, Guldborgsund and Lolland in co-operation with the Museum Lolland-Falster and Museerne Vordingborg, and curated by Christian Skovbjerg Jensen.

Guidebooks and leaflets with descriptions and photographs of all the projects, can be downloaded from www.tumult.dk.

About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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