Reviews, Essays, Fiction

Review of Denmark's new 'Journal of Nature Criticism', Ny Jord (New Earth), written for The Copenhagen Review. Read it there or as a PDF.

Review of Richard Mosse's exhibition The Enclave at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, written for The Copenhagen Review. Read it there or as a PDF.

Essay on selected works by Lasse Krog Møller and Nevet Yitzhak, accompanying the exhibition Firm Forms and Loose Silhouettes at SixtyEight. PDF.

Short story Heavy Air, from the unpublished collection Idyllia. PDF.

Introduction written for the catalogue accompanying Versus's exhibition Meditations on a Hobby Horse. PDF.

Review of Concrete Comedy: An Alternative History of Twentieth-Century Comedy, by David Robbins, written for The Copenhagen Review. Read it there or as a PDF.


In order to write an opening speech for the inaugural exhibition at 68 Square Metres Art Space in May 2011, I googled the words 'opening speech' and found one delivered at a livestock and agriculture conference. I edited the text, replacing the agriculture-related words with art-related words. The result was performed at the opening by actor Asbjørn Krogh Nissen.

Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening.

We are delighted and honoured to host this 1st Exhibition Opening and the 1st Party at 68 Square Metres Art Space this evening and to welcome you to Denmark.

I wish to extend a warm welcome to fellow delegates from the various countries. I realize that you are fully dedicated to the party that will follow but I do hope you will also take time to enjoy fascinating Denmark with its temperate setting, friendly people and multi-cultural cuisine.

I recognize that this exhibition is principally designed to enhance the development of the art industry within the Nordic region. These monthly gatherings enable the building of a productive dialogue between Scandinavia and other countries. They also provide an invaluable opportunity for networking and fruitful contacts between countries.

Denmark is placing strong emphasis on the development of culture, including the art sector, to increase cultural production. In fact, culture has been declared as the third engine of growth in the country. Of the total GDP for cultural production (comprising of art, literature and music), 30 percent is contributed by the art sector. Development policies and planning of the culture sector are guided by the National Cultural Policy (NCP) (1992-2010) which aims at "a market-led, commercialized, efficient, competitive and dynamic cultural sector within the context of sustainable development". There is a focus on 6 main commodities namely theatre, performance, painting, video, audio, and installations. For each of these commodities, there are specific targets for production and each has a plan of action.

Speaking about art production, I would like to emphasize on the importance Denmark places on measures to control art diseases. We are very conscious of the grave threat of art diseases to the livelihood of our artistic community. In the context of the World Trade Organisation and international Art Fairs, we realize the importance of maintaining a disease-free status, as this is critical if we wish to tap into foreign markets. The Department of Discourse Services thus continues to be committed to rapid and decisive action in keeping the country free of art diseases. Of the newer measures in controlling diseases, will be the establishment of specific art atelier zones, so that art health control measures can be easily regulated and ateliers closely monitored. At the same time, if there should be a disease outbreak, the Department can easily contain the disease. The DDS is endeavoring to improve discourse-security at the atelier level. Good Art Husbandry Practice (GAHP) is being promoted by the DDS for the accreditation of art production systems at-atelier. GAHP procedures will include discursive measures for controlling art diseases.

I am pleased to note that 68 Square Metres has scheduled a half-day workshop with the theme "Discourse Safety, Art Safety" during this meeting. This workshop will also be joined by a group of 20 persons comprising artists, art entrepreneurs, discourse analyists and art processors. Their presence will contribute first-hand local experience, which will be useful to the forum. Consumers in Scandinavia should expect their experiences of artistic origin to be safe, and it is our duty as legislators to develop a system that delivers this. There is a need for governmental intervention to ensure compliance to art quality and safety standards. Such programmes have been undertaken by the Department of Discourse Services over the years which include Quality Assurance Programme (QAP), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Production Practice (GPP), as well as proactive monitoring of contaminants in discourses. Our commitment towards modernizing and achieving high discourse quality and safety assurance will be seen in the forthcoming institution of a National Discourse Act. At the same time, we will have to take steps to ensure that this law is implemented swiftly and applied effectively. For producing experience products of artistic origin, the use of the Discursive Health Mark for quality and safety accreditation has been practiced over a number of years. This workshop will be invaluable in contributing to the production of art which is clean, of high quality, and safe for human consumption.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, today’s multifaceted art industry and fast changing world calls for a close partnership between countries. Globalization presents many challenges to our region and as such we should cooperate with the aim of achieving mutual benefits. I hope this exhibition will highlight possible avenues for cooperation between countries and also come up with beneficial, cutting-edge resolutions, which can positively impact the art industries of other countries.

In closing, I wish to express my gratitude to all delegates and observers for their full cooperation and contribution to the 1st Exhibition Opening and 1st Party at 68 Square Metres. I take this opportunity to thank the Danish Arts Council for providing the necessary funding.

I wish the participants a very fruitful and productive party and with that, I declare the 1st Exhibition Opening and the 1st Party of 68 Square Metres Art Space open.

Thank you.