‘Degenerate Art in Denmark’ – a new political campaign

A proposal from Danish People’s Party

 

 

The right wing political party “Danish People’s Party” has made a proposition: Moving some of the public tax money from two museums for modern art, Museum of Lousiana and Museum Arken to old national tresórs as “Fregatten Jylland”.  According to the size of the budget costs, exhibition plans for 2017 must be dropped. One of those is an international Picasso exhibition at Museum Lousiana.

When it comes to priorities for Art in Denmark, direct political intervention as this is normally banned because the norm is to follow a principle of “arms length”.

 

In Denmark, Art is publicly supported with ½ bn DKK each year .  (= 80 million $ or 13 $ per Dane)

Photo of Mikal Hertig

Mikael Hertig, M of Sc. Pol

 

af Mikael Hertig, Nuuk
“Weird “or  “degenrate ” art?

 

Alex Ahrendtsen rejects modern art: “weird”, “ununderstandable”

 

MP Alex Ahrendsen, spokesman for the proposition called Modern Art “weird”.

Portræt af Alex Ahrendtsen, næsrsynsbriller, skaldet

MP Alex Ahrendtsen

“Why”, did he ask during a TV-interview, “should we spent public money on  “weird art” that people do not understand?”

In Germany the government banned “Entartete Kunst”  (Degenerate Art) from 1933 to 1945. Of course, a substantial reduction in public support is not just the same as excluding some sorts of  art. Nevertheless, in a small country as Denmark with only 6 mn people public support is a necessity.

The actual amount of support for Modern Art Museums is 0,8 DKK per inhabitant each year. Mr Ahrendtsen proposes to reduce these 80 cents per year to 60.

One might look at this proposition with a shrug. The amount money at stake is a minimum.

However, Danish People Party has had great success with ideas as this one. While more responsible political representatives are focusing at finance the populist approach just uses this as a means to produce changes in practice.

 

 

Feeling secure: Back in uterus?

The Populist core consists of automatically rejection of anything you do not immidiately understand, “weird”. This can be called ‘reductionism’  in a new sense of the word. To a narrow minded person very many daily  impressions can be rejected as ‘weird’ because it may seem difficult to understand them.

Mr. Ahrendtsen has a M. of Art in Danish and Religion Service. He knows exactly what he is doing. An article of Danish People Party’s media strategy  (in Danish) can be read here.

To educated people as Mr. Arendtsen, the world is complicated and difficult to understand. However, when writing and speaking to the public, it is a necessity of populism to reduce complexity to something simple.

 

Reducing the worldview to a secure uterus or at least a romantic picture of  a world of harmony in the past is the whole idea. One could put it this way:
Are Picasso paintings needed in Paradise? And if not, why don’t we ban them here already?

 

 

 

 

Gallery of Degenerate Art

I will present you some paintings representing degenerate art asking if ‘weird art’ are represented by these pictures. We  all know that accepting avantgarde art takes some years. These pictures and painters could not stop working. But people were prohibited in seeing them.

I have to emphasize that the proposition of Mr. Ahrendtsen has nothing to do directly with censorship. But he is deliberately attacking the the searching and wondering approach to life in order to sell an illusion of security in a fragile world.

I think it is a good idea to present for some of the pictures banned by the German government 1933-45.  Have a look. If you find any paintings worth seeing send a positive thought to western democaracy and not those trying to make a new enclosure.

Emil Nolde.

Emil Nolde  (1867 – 1956)

 

 

 

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Blue portrait of a woman with red mouth and hat

Emil Nolde, watercolour on paper, woman with red hat  (From “Unpainted paintings”)

Next

Three faces. In the middle seen in fronmt, a yelloe person From the sides blue persons.

Emil Nolde 1867 – 1956 Watercolur on paper (from unpainted paintings)
Three faces

Next

Red haired woman inred profole, man green dress, half profile. blue background

Emil Nolde, 1867-1956
Two faces, watercolour on paper
From “Unpainted paintings”

Next

Paul Klee 1879 – 1940

You can read about Paul Klee here.  Look at his pictures beneath

The picture is a face with cubistic details Orange backgrounf, yellow nd grey no mouth, eyes asymmetricly placed

Paul Klee, face. Oil on canvas

 

””

Skincoloured background red eye dots yellow brain biug headf no corpus

Paul Klee 1879-1940 Jumping Jack Litography print

 

 

 

 

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Cubistic. Orange, blue, green colours

Paul Klee
Abstract picture separated in three parts Title: In Zoo Gardens  Print

 

abstract picture on dark baskground green and orange colours

Paul Klee, “Woman in súnday dress” Oil on canvas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944)

 

Abstract painting, diagonal structured

Vassily Kandinsky,. 1936, Composition  Oil on canvas

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Locomotive and biased landscape because of the speed a castle in the background

Vassily Kandinsky, Train and castle at Murnau. 1909. Oil on canvas

 

 

 

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Black background, phantasy figures

Vassily Kandinsky, 1939, Composition 10, Oil on canvas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Max Ernst

Max Ernst 1891 – 1976 

Surrealistic picture

Max Ernst, 1891- 1976
Surrealistic composition
Oil on Canvas

 

 

 

 

 

 

  4 comments for “‘Degenerate Art in Denmark’ – a new political campaign

  1. 14. August 2016 at 5:51

    Important article. The populism discussed is slowly but surely, akin to the political situation in the late Weimar republic in Germany, saturating danish society, and with its extreme irresponible and pathetic spirit, tearing down and errecting barriers of hate and intolerance between peoples. Being a ‘foreigner’, a refugee or ‘indvandrer’ you thus need to possess a high level of personal integrity to survive as an individual human being, as all that you represent, is scorned, ridiculed and made to be problematic. Hence this idea of – weird; strange; other…. permeats and enter into every populist description, and is shamefully used to legitimize any and many always controversial forms of bias towards those percieved as a threat towards a mythical harmony within the tribe.

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