the "folkelighed"
(a Danish word that cannot be translated)


Opening: August 5. at 7pm
Exhibition Period: August 6. - September 3. 2005

A collaboration between co-curators Jole Wilcke and Lars Bent Petersen, and presenting works by students from the Art Academy of Fuen, Denmark.

Participating artist:
Line E. Lund, Jens Axel Beck, Karen Petersen, Marianne Bitsch Thomsen, Nils Grarup, Mads Thomsen, Jette Olsen, Brian Jepsen, Kirstine Strømberg, Mika Andersen, Morten Espersen, Claus Larsen, Steffen Jørgensen, Heidi Hove Pedersen, Allan Nicolaisen, Mie L. Hansen.


In his book "THE PRACTICES OF EVERYDAY LIFE", French sociologist Michel de Certeau writes on the notion of folkelighed. Certeau's essay "The Scriptural Economy" is dedicated to Danish theologian and poet N.F.S Grundtvig (1783-1872).

The Danish term folkelighed, a multi-dimensional one, the word itself cannot be translated remains specific to its Danish context. Constructed from the adjective folkelig (meaning: "popular, simple and unassuming), folkelighed has another, autonomous definition: "what belongs to the people".
Grundtvig developed the Herderian (1744 ­1803) notion of folk (Volk) further towards the political vision of folkelighed. Grundtvig split its two elements ( < folke ­ lighed > ), which can be translated respectively as " the people" and "equality". Combined, the word can very loosely translated as "the quality of being the people" or just plain "people­equality".

In this exhibition "the folkelighed (a Danish word that cannot be translated)" at Sparwasser HQ students from the Art Academy of Fuen, Denmark, investigate the cultural, popular reconstruction of folkelighed in Denmark today. "Who are 'the people' in the folk-related discourse ?"
The word mellemfolkelig is a central theme: how it creates difference. In Danish, the concepts of folkelig and mellemfolkelig live side by side both linguistically and politically: they are related to each other (like "national" and "international" or "cultural" and "intercultural"). The experience of folkelighed is rooted in a history of cultural differences.

This exhibition will not discuss the abstract question "What is folkelighed?" but rather two more concrete questions: "What is it like to live in a society where folkelighed is an important concern?" and " How is an ethnographically descriptive category such as "people-equality" used as a "political instrument" in the areas of politics, politics, language, nationalism, consumer-culture and every day life ?"