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