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RAPE KILL STEAL BURN Hornsleth © 2013 Forlaget Ehrhorn Hummerston Design, layout, tekst og produktion Ehrhorn Hummerston www.ehrhorn-hummerston.dk
 Fotografi Ehrhorn Hummerston

RAPE KILL STEAL BURN Works from 2006 – 2014, including a selection of earlier pieces

Printed in Denmark 1. udgave, 1. oplag

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ISBN xxxxxxxxxxxx Alle rettigheder forbeholdes. Mekanisk, fotografisk eller anden gengivelse af eller kopiering
fra denne bog er kun tilladt i overensstemmelse mellem ­i nstitutioner og virksomheder, der har indgået overenskomst med Copy-Dan. Enhver anden udnyttelse er uden forlagets skriftlige samtykke forbudt ifølge dansk lov om ophavsret.

Forlaget Ehrhorn Hummerston Gråbrødretorv 6-8 1154 København K www.forlaget-eh.dk

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Index

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mo ok

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monster xx

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monster xx

monster xx

fitness

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lamborgini xx haic

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ducatti xx

Morgan

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London

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Playtime Bar London xx

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uganda

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Dead porn star

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Football

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OXO tower london

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udslet hornslth ?

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Brazil xx

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Langeland massacre xx

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K bar

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Rolex?

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RAPE KILL STEAL BURN Rejection is one of the educated reactions intended by the artist Notes on the work of Kristian von Hornsleth By Wolf Günter Thiel, berlin based art historian, 2013 My pathos certainly would move Thy laughter, If Thou hadst not all merriment unlearned

intended by the artist. To counteract the rejection of the viewer is an act of re-democratization of the viewing of art works! For viewers, the artist is so obscene, vulgar and loud that, at the end of the process, viewers must take an opposing stance against the artwork to protect themselves. In his every day life, the same viewers are used to accept without question the normative power of the ostensible fact.

Language-game: “Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn!” Ludwig Wittgenstein invented the expression “language game” to describe a vocalization that occurs within a particular situation. Generally, one can understand a “language game” as any form of vocalization within a practical context, hence the innumerable types of usages of characters, words and sentences. Wittgenstein emphasizes this with the notion that “speaking of language is part of an activity, or a form of life.” He was convinced that to participate in a language game in the broad sense and to understand it, one had to participate in the respective form of life that used those terms. Here, an inappropriate language game that shouldn´t be written is utilized also without using the terms used within a certain language game. “Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn!” Kristian von Hornsleth leaves us the use of his language-games. He lets us join the game. He screams and screams at us to wake up! “Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn!” Hornsleth´s language games are disturbing. He shouts the terms at the viewer. They are very noisy and very clear and totally understandable. JeanFrançois Lyotard spoke about the rules of how statements are constituted and combined in relation with “language games”. The artist imposes to the viewer his own artistic set of rules with its own criteria of rationality and normativity. The response is usually negative. The viewer can refuse to play along and this refusal is vehement! Too obscene, too vulgar and too loud. Rejection is one of the educated reactions

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Generally, late postmodern tolerance makes the viewer perceive art completely uncritically and without any comment. Art is like that. Lyotard saw no possibility of mutual understanding or criticism between strongly different language games. “Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn!” Therefore, the rejection and incomprehension are intended reactions by the artist. It is crucial for Hornsleth to be explicitly against something. One must openly reject something in order to be explicitly for the earlier rejected opposite. It is a question of attitude. Like Lyotard, the artist starts from the diversity of discursive forms, which is described as not “translatable” into various language games or “incommensurable rational types”. There is no integrated “metadiscourse”. But, if there is no more metadiscourse, one should oppose the suggestion of any social metadiscourse and people continue “to live freely and without illusion.”

and assertive. The same people who reject my art look the other way when this common state of our society, as well as of others, continues as usual. This kind of phenomenon is common and is not easy to recognize. Every day, thousands of women are severely abused. All around the world men die in wars, bombings and terrorist attacks. Things are stolen, destroyed and burned. It happens every day in Copenhagen, London and Berlin as well as in Mali and Congo. Only the dimension is different but not their propensity to be covered up and concealed. Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn! A new Islamic fascism is growing and explains to the Mujahedeen that their main religious obligation is to blow themselves and others up. Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn! It corresponds to the religious practice of restricting women´s rights and in Mali to punish people for religious offenses. The punishers leave scores of cripples behind him. Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn! Actors of the late Western predatory capitalism have finally abandoned any kind of ethics. You can steal, as long as it is not expressly forbidden and that you are enriching someone else, as long as it does not infringe any law. “Who has the money has the power, and who has the power, has the right!” There is no problem of legitimacy in late capitalism. There is not even any valid commitment, let alone an ethical code of conduct. They are just maximizing their own profit.

“Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn!” Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn! Back to the old ways of the Vikings? Is it related to the language game’s life form? These terms of an artistic language game are clearly in opposition with the rules and ways of society. Their emblematical inclusion in the imagery is positioning the artist and his work evidently against common sense. Is he pleading for a Renaissance of the Viking Empire? Hardly! In his art, he knows exactly what this society tolerates: the common state of this world, our world. As he addresses us his tone is abnormally low, and accentuated,

So, is it the life form of a terrorist who fights against the evils of the world? Is he a representative of the essential humanistic paradigm shift within the late postmodernist influenced economic liberalism? Or is he just another voice in the cacophony of Babylonian language aberrations, confusions and excesses? A number of the artist´s pieces show us these linguistic aberrations, confusions and excesses, which, conveyed through media and con-

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// RAPE KILL STEAL BURN

sumer promises are getting ever more odd and absurd. The artist brings the excesses of language to their extreme. He shouts visually and confronts viewers with their own medial mediated wishes. Ultimately, he confronts the viewers with their own sometimes hidden, sometimes open and sometimes ostentatiously displayed consumer behavior. Hornsleth shouts at the viewer. Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn! Is it what you want? That´s what you get! Perversion and vulgarity have no limit. I am just a mirror; I am your alter ego. I am Mephistopheles and you are Faust. Buy and leave! Mephistopheles to Faust: I am the spirit that denies! And rightly so, because that arises, its value end up falling; wouldn´t it be better if nothing aroused. That is all that you call sin, destruction, evil, my element. Is Kristian von Hornsleth such a Mephistopheles or is he an apostle of post-materialism or the champion of new radical humanism? “Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn!” Is it the maxim of a Danish Mephistopheles? Hardly! Mephistopheles would never shout or be obscene or vulgar. He would gently insinuate, he would make it look like this wisdom originated from Faust himself. He would suggest to him his wishes and prompt him with the devil´s diabolical cunning. Under no circumstance would he ever push him to his limit. He would tempt him to encourage him, just like an investment banker from Goldman Sachs who at the end would claim his wages. Hornsleth is rather like a medical doctor in the emergency room treating a patient who swallowed 100 sleeping pills. The patient is giving up and is ready to let his soul go. He shakes and shouts at the patient, he tries to wake him up and to keep him awake at all costs, and tries to pump his stomach… Too late, the patient died! Exitus! Out! In 1951, the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas published his famous poem “Do not go gentle into that good night.” This sentence from Thomas came along with the phrase “Rage, rage against the dying of the

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of absolute monarchy, to be the only ones who could and should tell the truth to the Prince. But, what do you do when you grow tired of your own folly and want to be taken seriously as a political person?

So, is he an apostle of a simple life, a representative of an emerging post-materialism? Simple life is not defined by poverty, the lack of any possession or asceticism. It refers to a life style that is intended as an alternative to the excess of consumption-oriented society. Its supporters try to counteract everyday constraints through conscious consumption waiver. The goal is to live a self-determined and conscious life. This position is also referred to as post-materialism.

Hornsleth has long seen himself as a political impetus for the post-material movement! However, as long as he´ll decorate the motorbikes and sport cars of his newly enriched clients with his name and imagery and that he´ll serve the excessive fantasies of decadent freaks, this is doubtful to say the least. This is the sign of an ongoing individualization. Certainly! But this precious punk is not an image of the new humility. The protestations of the artist are not convincing, only the subversive power of his works as a commentary on social decadent behavior could. There is still too much of a Saul in him. He still wants to make a place for himself among the rich and famous. He wants to be close to the rich and famous and sell them pictures for their houses end penthouses. He wants their recognition and he wants their money! Whatever it may cost. Punk rock à la Tote Hosen: “Kauf mich! Ihr könnt mich kaufen und zwar täglich im Sonderangebot! Mich kann man kaufen, also kauft mich, bitte, bitte kauft mich!”

Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn! Following Ronald Inglehart it is the consequence of a mental and physical security, which creates a wealthy materialist society. For post-materialists, the pursuit of material goods is less important than, for example, the integrity of family, health or education. At the same time, people are more and more individualistic and when living in a post-materialistic society, in addition to their existential needs, they grow cultural, social and intellectual expectations.

Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn!

The sociologist Paul H. Ray and the psychologist Ruth Anderson noted that these persons are part of a rapidly growing group in our contemporary societies. They support a change of values that are creative and marked by an explicit social responsibility in the health and environmental consciousness associated to the lifestyle.

To produce a work that is all about political awareness, to directly help people. In his large-scale artistic actions, he argues, just like Paul, in the sense of those who, despite the social group they belong to, strive to implement their own ideas of an independent and carefree life. “The Hornsleth Village Project” was a much-acclaimed example of this.

Naturally, the visual artist Kristian von Hornsleth takes the historical role of the jester. They were clowns or artists and were sharp observers of current affairs. Enjoying the privilege of the fools´ license, it granted them impunity when they criticized existing conditions. They were a social institution of authorized and admissible critique. Their particular position allowed them a great freedom of action. Fools had the political function, during times

The main outcome of this project was to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of an African village. The transaction, as the participating villagers understood the project, was developed, initiated and implemented in collaboration with them in a democratic process. The residents would be adopted and change their last name for Hornsleth. The name change had no impact on their lives as they never had any identification papers or

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light” repeated several times in the chorus. He wrote the poem for his dying father. When it was published in 1951, his father was dead. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light!” Hornsleth as Mephistopheles? Hardly!

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passports. For the project, they received their first-ever valid personal identity documents. These personal documents, the photographic portraits of the participants and a documentary film constitute the testimonies of the artistic action that took place. The villagers stood as representatives of their own situation and of the situation of many villages and people in Uganda and Central Africa. The most important aspect is that the quality of their living conditions improved on the long term. Each participant received livestock. In addition, a communal farm was instated, which still exists and has proved to be extremely productive and profitable. “We want to help you, but we want to own you!” This was the official slogan of the project, which, of course, sparked a controversy. This public controversy allowed the artist to draw attention to conflicts of interest in the context of today´s Western and Far Eastern development programs. The controversy in the Danish public sphere has put the pressure on the Danish development aid policy. It was confronted with questions it could not or did not want to answer. So, answers had to be found and the solutions proposed were strikingly similar to those of the artist. Under public pressure, parts of the development aid funds were reassigned and invested following these new considerations. The political activist Hornsleth pilloried the opportunism of political correctness with politically incorrect slogans. His action made the public aware of such flagrant abuses. Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn! “Can a painting be a share in an arms investment corporation? Don't be a hypocrite, be a peace investor in arms and art love.“ The project HORNSLETH ARMS INVESTMENT CORPORATION not only shows how cynical are the investments in production and trade of weapons, but also the profits with which these investments are connected. On the one hand, he points at the ruthlessness of such investments, and on the other hand he brings forth an absurd interpretation of the law in which

these investments are perfectly legal. The public relations aspect of such a project does not only create awareness on such a critical situation, but above all it focuses particularly on the discussion brought by circles of the politically correct art world into the media world. The same situation is found in the project with the homeless in the City of London. In the project “ACQUIRE DEMOCRACY” he bought the votes of the homeless on a grand scale. With this project, he demonstrates how fast the equal interests of vulnerable citizens can be battered. The project draws attention and fuels discussion about people, who have fundamental rights in society but don´t use them anymore because they, as well as society, renounced them. Technically, the vote of a homeless is equal to the one of a banker, but in reality it does not improve his situation. These artistic actions operate at the intersection of art and politics, society and reality. Situationism! The Situationist movement, closely associated with Guy Debord, began in the fifties in France. Debord developed a concept of “theoretical and practical production of situations” In these situations life itself is a work of art. His ideas are still widespread internationally nowadays and left traces in arts, politics, architecture and particularly in pop culture. This is the context of the project “Langeland school massacre”. There, schoolboys and girls are equipped with paintball guns and placed in an artificial state of conflict. Elimination is the name of the game. Usually, two teams fight each other. The game ends when the last member of a team is marked and that one or more of the opposing team is still standing. Children were well prepared for this war game through daily practice during their time off on warfare computer games. They had a deep knowledge of tactical, strategic war psychology issues and had no problem with playfully shooting at other players. The children were transformed by the game

into killers and murderers without them even asking questions about the legal, ethical or moral framework in which the game took place. The artist himself expressed his horror. “Don’t dismiss this as kids going wild with prop machine guns and theatrical blood. It was not about fun, to their minds this was a serious project. To myself, and their distraught and in some cases tearful teachers, the real shock as the day unfolded was to take in the perfectionism, conviction and skill that they imbued the work with, without any prior visual foreknowledge of the reality of such events. Somehow, they managed to express their inner visualization of what images of death can be like.” Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn! “Deep Storage” “Picture this; A vast steel sculpt, 8 by 8 by 8m, being lowered deep into the Pacific Ocean. This first of a series of sculpts will be stored into the Marianas trench, right to the bottom 11,000 metres down. With us so far? That’s 200 miles off Guam Island between Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia. Now, are you ready for the plot twist? It’s going to be full of human blood and hair samples, DNA. This is art and hard science colliding head on. 30 locations around the world have attracted 5,000 willing donors or investors, if you like. All are rewarded with certificates proving they believed this might be a second chance.” The project “Deep Storage” proposes an archetypal expression of human desire. How can I become immortal, and how can I be part of a “big story”? The artistic idea is to stage a mythical and legendary history like the Iliad and to archive the genetic information of 5,000 people in the form of blood or hair samples, to store these in some monumental irregular star made of steel tubes that will be sunken in the deepest points of Earth and thus reach eternity. The goal is to provide humans of the future a story about our time and about the needs of people of our time.

Here the artist stylized himself as “Superman” in the sense of Friedrich Nietzsche. From the perspective of the philosopher, it is the duty of humans to generate a type more developed than them. Nietzsche called this man superior to men the superman. For Nietzsche, this term was meant in the biological as well as in the spiritual meaning. On the one hand, it represents a higher biological type, on the other hand it is an ideal for anyone who would want to go beyond himself, to cultivate and blossom his virtues, for anyone who is creative and able to play the all keyboard of the human mind, its fantasy and imagination. Hornsleth collected the genetic information of 5,000 people and made it available to a civilization in the future. For him, in the future, an existence based on reproduction technologies is possible. The artist staged “Deep Storage” as a modern epic. Epics deal with major events in which gods and heroes are often the focus. They don´t always have an author in the modern sense and are not independent creative works resulting from an individual effort but rather the expression of collective memories and stories. The artist himself is at the center. He took 5,000 people in a time travel. 5,000 people, through their group participation, at least expressed a common chosen world and understanding. 5,000 people who shared an unconditional interest for distant future combined with a romantic longing for this very distant future. The existence of the 5,000 people is linked to the world of the gods of the future. The visual artist Kristian von Hornsleth, who reveled in the postmodern orgies of pictures and enthusiastic about the late postmodern excess of art, the one who integrated the linguistic confusions of postmodernism in his emblematic imagery became a neo-modern as a political activist and artist. As a radical humanist, he forced himself to change. He uses the strategies of media provocation just like art forces the public to recognize the social, political and cultural problems and he forces politicians to state their position. He sides with the homeless in London,

which are exposed to legal claims and unjustified direct, structural and cultural violence. In Uganda, he achieved an improvement of the quality of life in a village, and to raise the public consciousness as a result of the discussion about the project. Hornsleth not only actively questioned the economic, political and cultural situation, but also created situations like “Langeland school massacre” in which are criticized the nature of relationships between parents, teachers and children. The artist is interested in all levels of human life. He asks tough questions and expects no easy answers. He pleads with all his force to validate his arguments in the real world and tests the deficiencies of the law in the context of his artistic actions. And finally, he invites 5,000 people to a journey into the future and fulfills his dream and the dream of humanity. Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn! The neo-modern approach of the artist Hornsleth corresponds to the postmodern one in its large scale effort to deconstruct, disenchant and put into perspective moral values. For the modern, some values were untouchable, but the neo-modern values resemble the postmodern ones and nothing is sacred or untouchable anymore. The moral values of modernity are broken and reduced to what they were: survival techniques. They need – as the artist repeatedly points out in his work – a thorough revision. The moral of modernity and its values are deconstructed again and again in the artworks and are exposed as an empty promise of happiness from a retrograde and reactionary social elite. The promises of happiness will only be measured by how happy they make people. They make people happy when they provide concrete conditions to facilitate the realization of the objectives of the neo-modern humanism. Rape! Kill! Steal! Burn!

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BEFORE 2005

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THE HORNSLETH VILLAGE PROJECT UGANDA by Wolf-GĂźnter Thiel, Art historian based in Berlin

A UNIQUE ART PROJECT The Hornsleth Project Uganda is a unique project in art history. Kristian von Hornsleth will do his first project in Africa in Uganda together with the inhabitants in a little village north of Kampala. Hornsleth does this project which is in this dimension and in its straightness a unique project in art history. The idea is to invite the people from this village to change their name to 'Hornsleth'. Driven by his idea of power branding and of the artistic concept of realizing this with real people is unknown at all in contemporary or historical artistic discourses. The idea is to exchange the names of the people for the purpose of investing the money he gives and the money he makes with the project back in improving their short term life conditions along with a long term programme of infrastructure education and health care. The participators profit directly from their investment in Hornsleth by getting direct help. They sell something to him. They really like the idea because the needs for them are more essential than their name. They argue anyhow that nothing changes in terms of their identity anyhow. The possibility of profiting through an upcoming worldwide famous artist name is so abstract for them that they neglect the implications. The political meaning of the work is not only to help this village in many ways, but also what is happening in Africa through global political and economic powers who take Africa as a resource of energy, labor or other reasons. The project shows at the same point that the people's attitude is so different than the comparable attitude of people in Europe or North America. The idea is brilliant to illustrate the idea of contemporary colonialism through art. Hornsleth uses his fame in order to show in

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Kristian von Hornsleth is an artist. All questions he is concerned with are artistic questions. So talking about his project "The Hornsleth Village"means we are talking about art! In Uganda Kristian von Hornsleth realized an artistic work which deals with identity and the perception of identity. The identity of the artist and his artistic perception of his world is working with the identity of people from Uganda with their own perception of their individuality and with their perception of their world. The artists' works with this difference of the perception of both sides and creates a way where both sides profit in their very interest. Through his work the living conditions of 308 people of this village were remarkably improved! The perception of an internationally successful working artist is using all possibilities of personal freedom of speech, of developing markets globally and being received globally. He generates his economic wealth through fame and as the main source through fun. "Fun, Fame, Fortune!" He is subjectively pushing his artistic value system and acting in his world, which is the international world of arts. The individual and his individual wishes are his driving force. His fame becomes a key tool to improve people's live condition! The perception of a human being from a village in the countryside of Uganda is very different. They try to survive with their possibilities as a farmer or as a peasant. They live without electricity without any kind of security system and without any ambition to work on anything else than surviving the existentially and socially very difficult situation. The world ends for this person in the capital of Uganda to get medicine against malaria. The world is his own life condition and his social surrounding. The surviving and taking care of the family is the main goal, everything else is not essential!

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his work the dirty way of global capitalism and confront it with the humane and ethic thinking of his art.

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Kristian von Hornsleth went to the village in Uganda in order to convince them to use his name "Hornsleth" and gain through this a new and enduring tool to improve their living condition. What he asks for is the second given name on their identity cards. What they get are animals to enrich theirpersonal life through animals they get through this. He offers an economic deal to people who never would be able to do any economic deal of this kind without his offer. He points out that they as individuals own something, not essential to them which has an economic value. Until now 308 people chose this way to improve their situation on short, medium and long terms. The artists just wants a photo of them showing their identity card with their second given name "Hornsleth". This photos are artworks and a document forthe artistic process. The situation for the village and each person living in the village is improved because the distribution system of the animals will guarantee that on the medium term not only the situation improves for few, but for many more, because the animals of the next generation will partly go back to a farm owned by the artist together with the village. Both will take care, that these animals will reach more and more people, even if they do not take the name "Hornsleth". This is the basic economic idea, but from an artistic perspective it goes far beyond. Hornsleth shows through his photos individuals with an individual voice and an individual perception of world as such and they chose Hornsleth to communicate their existence to the world. Hornsleth is their ambassador and the person who explains who they are, where and how they live. Even if they naturally do not care about contemporary western art, they accept this artist offers a solution tool to improve their live situation. Hornsleth is a voice for them to communicate their own individuality beyond their own horizon.

fact, that someone helped them and improved their situation and more who regards them as individuals with their own culture, their own problems and their own dignity and pride. They understand that they own something which makes them being of economic interest. They learn to act economically. Where does the art start and what makes it a great art project? The art starts with the decision to realize this projects, to go to Africa, to understand the situation, to dialogue with the people from the village, to find a solution with the village leaders and to think of an economic deal which is good for both sides. The art is a process and an experience; a new experience for the people from the village and for the artist himself. The art is a process of generating this idea and dealing with different cultures, different continents and all kind of barriers. The art is the result: The living situation improved. The consciousness of the people in the village as well as the artists' changed. The result is art which perhaps changes the opinion of the visitor of shows of this work and perhaps make many people aware that they can do something to improve people's living conditions not only in Africa, but in general. The quality of the artwork is not only its brilliant visual quality, but that art can be accepted as a solution instrument. This art is a sign that the world of 308 individual people and their families already changed to the better. That is what I call great art.

Wolf-GĂźnter Thiel, art historian, Berlin, august 2006

The question why this process is art or how it relates to western art theoretical context is of no importance to them. They are fond of the

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THE HORNSLETH VILLAGE Q and A with Hornsleth by Wolf-GĂźnter Thiel, Art historian based in Berlin

How did you get the idea to do the 'Hornsleth Village Project Uganda' HVPU? I got the idea thinking about how to make a human being as an art work, how would one do that, I thought. I realized that I would need to sign that person somehow, then I thought about making someone take the artists name as part of an conceptual art work. And this way the person becomes he art work signed by the artist. This way many questions begin to rise. What is identity? What is a name? Who decides names? Who controls who? Who wants to be controlled by whom? I later found out that an African village would be perfect because they would be in need and therefore willing to do a deal. Then I found a village and the deal was made. Fair and square. They got 400 animals and I got 100 name changed people. Art is like drugs, first it is very cheap and then it becomes expensive. After the HVPU I'm working on a new name project where rich people can add the Hornsleth Name to their name for high price. There has been a lot of criticism towards the project, how have you handled that?

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Do you think you can keep on provoking as you do now? Or will there be a point where people will be immune? When you have become immune to art as such, you have either reached the final philosophical platform of no contradiction or you are looking at the wrong art. I can only do what I am doing. Anything else would be pretentious. Art is only art when it is able to provoke its surroundings, ethically or aesthetically. Where is your own limit in relation to provocation?

Do you feel you have achieved what you wanted with the project?

Why do you think there is so much attention towards provocative art?

Yes

Because we live in a super beautiful media carried world where information, knowledge and attention is bringing bread on peoples tables. I call it 'media-Darwinism'. Only the really funny or the really ugly or the really beautiful or the really interesting gets attention. Was it not always like this? Think about it, would you like to hear a story already told?

How would you define 'Provocative Art' ?

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I want them to feel entertained, to make them feel that their thought are being slightly moved into new and hopefully inspired directions. I want them to feel that they are not wasting their fucking time, and make them able to reach new recognition, no matter how big or small it might be.

When it doesn't work and becomes something else.

To investigate identity and inter personal control

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What kind of feelings do you want people to have when they see your art works?

If you can't take some critique you cannot be an artist. The critique is part of the dialectics between artist and art lover.

What was the purpose with the HVPU ?

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All art is provocative, if it is not provocative in any way it is not art. A very pretty painting can for me be provocative in the way it provokes me to think into a new direction, and thinking about hew stuff I never would have thought of.

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The Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation Danish philosopher Ole Fogh Kirkeby interviewed by Kristian von Hornsleth 



KvH: Let me begin with asking you simply, if a public limited company could be regarded as an art work?

OFK: Yes, I would think so.

KvH: Let’s say, if the company sells stocks and the stocks are a pieces of art and the incomings go
exclusively to the arms industry, what do you think about that?

OFK: This project works as sort of an anti-project when comparing it to all the ethical investments and by doing so it reveals clearly a double standard in the economy. At the same time it is realistic art. Furthermore any kind of securities can be view as pieces of art, because they exist in a closed world with reference to other worlds. And that is the way that art exist. Sometimes you can close it down and take it out of the world, where it comes from and place it in another world. When art at a certain time lets the bigger picture represent it self, it will be have the same effect, because the actual picture will go from being an ideal portrait to a non-figuratively picture. It is what it is. And in reality it’s the same with your stocks. In the end they reference themselves to the real world by
being fictional.

KvH: Some critics believe that having a Hornsleth Solution Stock hanging on you wall at home next to other graphical expressions is wrong?

OFK: What’s the difference between that or having a photography hanging, for instance the famous Vietnam-photo, where a person is shot in the head, which a lot of people have? Or a picture of a maimed child?

KvH: But with the stock you show, that you are proud of being share holder of a weapons company?

OFK: In reality it is just an illustrated expression, because you are also part of all the other accidents that happen around the world. You just write off your responsibility, because you’re not formally to blame. But you are just as much part of other accidents around the world. Unless you use your whole life to prevent everything bad thing, shit just happens. It’s just the top

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of the iceberg or the worst case scenario, of what you actually do, because you are already a share holder in all the arms factories, without having a stock.

KvH: One of the thoughts behind the project is that a possible proceed can be invested in so-called ‘good projects’, so people can apply to use ‘blood money’ to in vest in something good. What do you think of that?

OFK: That I really like. It is in some ways the exact opposite of Judas money. In extreme cases the surplus can be invested in guerrilla armies or drug gangs, so they can buy new weapons. That could be a solution. Another solution - your proposition is better because it keeps showing the double standard that we are in fact accomplices and have a responsibility for everything in the world. So I think it is a genius way to express the responsibility we have started. As long as we don’t use our entire lives to prevent it.

KvH: When the short media wants to know, what you have done with your project, what do you tell
them shortly?

OFK: I would say that any human being that doesn’t use their lives to prevent what is happening, and stay critical about everything, is just as much an accomplice, as if you had stocks in the same factory.

KvH: Thank you for your time!



Ole Fogh Kirkeby
Professor, M.A. and Dr. phil.
Copenhagen Business School
Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy

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hornsleth arms investment CORPORATION by Rasmus Willig

The artwork Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation consists of 100 class B shares. The art shares are available in various sizes, for example from 40 x 60 to 200 x 300. As the owner of a class B share, you become a shareholder in the company. Kristian von Hornsleth is the managing director, and owns a class A share with the right to control the company.

The objects of the company are: 1) to invest in arms production and other warrelated industries, including the supply of private armies, etc., via listed companies in the arms industry 2) to earn profits from these investments and related activities 3) to provide funding in the form of investments for idealistic projects, upon application. Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation plans to build up its shareholdings in foreign arms manufacturers, but also expects to invest in Danish companies, such as GPV, which produces military supplies. In time, more Danish and Scandinavian companies may join, provided they live up to the charter of Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation.

Sociological perspective The now deceased French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu, once said, with reference to Karl Marx, that it was his conviction that criticism does not acquire its true strength through ‘criticism of weapons’, but rather through the use of ‘criticism as a weapon’. What Bourdieu meant was that criticism must be well-found-

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ed; it should not consist of fragmented subanalyses with the mere appearance of radical criticism, but should be a form of criticism that involves all parts of an analysis. According to Bourdieu, it is not enough just to give the analysis a radical appearance by adding “a bit of Freud, a bit of Reich, a bit of Marx – all reinterpreted” – in order to endow the analysis with a critical aura.

Benjamin’s postulate has been given renewed relevance, not just as a theoretical concept, but also as a concept of artistic practice. The function of the artist and artworks is to draw attention to criticisable and often entirely perverse social pathological societal relations. Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation is such an artwork.

At first glance, Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation is neither a criticism of weapons nor criticism used as a weapon, but rather a work in which the criticism is directed at investments in weapons. The critical element consists quite simply in juxtaposing art, which has always been borne by anti-capitalist and anti-militarist claims, alongside the most extreme form of capitalism, namely that capital which, not just in a metaphorical sense, but also quite literally, capitalises on and produces death and destruction.

Generally accepted investment associations, venture capital funds and pension funds regularly invest in the arms industry, and are thereby the direct cause of a far too early death for some people, while others, thanks to these investments, can be secured a long and comfortable old age. No investment associations, venture capital funds or pension funds can claim that they have never at any time undertaken such investments, just as no western citizens can claim to be unaware of the fact that their savings sometimes lead a peculiarly unethical existence.

The cultural industry and the arms industry

The investment portfolios of the Western population

The combination of ‘artistic capital’ and actual ‘capitalist capital’ is not in itself new, but Hornsleth’s composition could hardly be more provocative. Many years ago, the famous German critic Walter Benjamin performed a similar trick when, on a theoretical level, he categorised contemporary art as part of the catchy concept of the ‘cultural industry’. Prior to this, culture had been considered to be anything but industry. The mere idea that culture could be mass produced seemed deplorable and deeply provocative. Today, the contention is generally accepted, and the industrial production of culture is a part of the experience economy.

Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation does only what hundreds of companies do every day, with the knowledge of their customers. The difference, however, is that the investments are not hidden away and wrapped in declarations of Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainable Growth. The insulating and blurring ‘ethical’ layer has been removed, and what remains is the true reflection of the investment portfolios of the western public.

With Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation,

Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation is a critical masterpiece. As we all know, criticism is belligerent by nature, and in its eagerness to overcome, it often makes use of all conceivable methods. Artistic exaggeration is one

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such commonly used method. That which is ridiculed or tyrannised by criticism can for example be magnified to an exaggerated degree, thereby clearly underlining its grotesque and illogical aspects. Polemical artistic criticism is eager to fight; it challenges and attacks with all available means. The critic Walter Benjamin, to whom I referred just now, wrote for example in his article “The Critic’s Technique in Thirteen Theses” that “Genuine polemics approach a book as lovingly as a cannibal spices a baby.” Genuine polemics are therefore entirely unrestrained. Perhaps this kind of criticism knows no limits. The reason may be that in some cases, criticism is unable or unwilling to subject itself to any rules, norms or customs. It is not in the nature of criticism to allow itself to be shackled. Criticism which is shackled may no longer be criticism at all. Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation is one such piece of unshackled art. The genre description and method that Benjamin describes is ‘immanent criticism’, i.e. a kind of criticism which is aimed at the other party’s own illogical and inconsistent reasoning. The immanent aspect arises from the fact that the critical weapons used are derived from that which is ridiculed, i.e. from the object of the criticism itself.

In his opinion, immanent criticism is a matter of turning the force of one’s opponent against himself. Those with an acquaintance with martial arts will know that this is a fundamental principle in all varieties of such sports. If you conjoin your opponent’s blow with your own, you can achieve twice the strength for half the effort. The other person’s attack becomes your best defence and attack method. As a result, those who are slight of build can overcome the muscular. Without the methods of martial arts, film figures such as the Karate Kid would be impossible. He moved to a new part of town and was quite randomly and unfairly attacked by the big kids in the neighbourhood, but with the help of an old karate master he learned the techniques of the martial arts, and justice was done in full. The big guys got a beating when they attacked. It is much the same story in art. That which is the subject of criticism is addressed at the point at which its strength seems to be best established. From here, it is not far to immanent criticism. All that needs to be done is to utilise the inconsistency already inherent in the subject as an attack. The greatest success is usually achieved when the identified fault is magnified and exaggerated, so that it becomes clear to all that something is fundamentally wrong.

Hornsleth and the Karate Kid When the international political philosopher Michael Hardt, co-author, with Antonio Negri, of the social critical work Empire, spoke at the Danish Congress of Sociologists some years ago, he described immanent criticism with the aid of a metaphor derived from martial arts.

Farm animals and weapons There is something fundamentally immoral about investing in weapons. The idea that increased investment and economic growth are the foundation of social and societal progress collapses when the economic growth is shown to be due to the success of the arms industry.

Kristian von Hornsleth previously did something similar with the Uganda project, in which Ugandans who adopted his surname were given a farm animal. The sometimes grotesque aspects of certain kinds of trade were thereby coarsely and effectively displayed by being magnified and clarified: when everyone in Africa acquires the surname von Hornsleth, hunger will have been eradicated. The same is the case with Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation – once the company’s profits are sufficiently large, the world’s relief organisations can seek funding to end all forms of hardship.

I am sometimes reminded of the Storm P. caricature, The Critic, in connection with Kristian von Hornsleth’s works. In this picture we see a happy painter, sitting on a headland and painting the sea. With his gaze fixed on his subject, he fails to notice the bull thundering towards him with lowered horns and steaming nostrils. For Storm P., the painter represents the artist who follows his heart, while the bull is the critical press which reveals its disapproving anger. It is said that Storm P. drew this picture after a negative review, which is why it shows such an asymmetrical relationship between the artist and the critic.

Criticism is aimed at Hornsleth

Toy guns

The criticism of the work is directed at a financial and structural level, but it is apparently returned by an indignant public, who for the moment have forgotten their investments and have instead chosen to attack the artist at an individual level. The criticism is thereby deflected from its original level and immediately disarmed. This is a familiar pattern when criticism hits home, and it is especially the case with the works of Kristian von Hornsleth. It is no longer about aspects of the financial system which require ethical revision, but rather about the artist’s own amoral lifestyle. It is no longer about the work Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation, but about the artist Kristian von Hornsleth. This deflection maintains for a moment the notion that only the work of a single madman is responsible for the weapon industry’s easy access to capital. Kristian von Hornsleth is a textbook example of a vulnerable critical artist, because he continually challenges artistic dogmas and, in particular, generally accepted social phenomena.

I naturally do not see Kristian von Hornsleth as the defenceless artist that Storm P. portrayed; it is, rather, his works that are the onrushing bull, trampling time and again on conventional views and dogmas. The question, however, is whether the thundering bull, Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation, is standing at a crossroads – for can or should the criticism survive, if investments really are made in armaments? Kristian von Hornsleth is the managing director of the company, and owns the single class A share that gives him the right to control its activities. He can listen to proposals to invest in anything other than weapons – but he can also choose to ignore them.

new critical perspectives. Perhaps Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation should instead invest in toy guns and give them to the child armies of the world, or bomb dictatorial states with critical books and art? Just imagine if an army was one day forced to withdraw in order to reload its Hornsleth water pistols, or take cover from an air raid in which they were bombarded with critical literature. Dear Kristian – invest it all in toy guns. With criticism as a weapon, not weapons as criticism.

Rasmus Willig is chairman of the Danish Sociologists Association and an associate professor at the Department of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University. Contact: willig@ruc.dk

I don’t think investment should be made in the arms industry. I think Bourdieu is right to say that true criticism is ‘criticism as a weapon’, which implies that Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation should not follow its planned route, but should enter into new projects which can contribute to producing

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The Hornsleth Rolex Project By Kristian Haagen, writer and cosmopolit based in Copenhagen

Fuck You Rolex Lovers.Var det i virkeligheden disse ord, der gik gennem Kristians hoved, da han begyndte at costumize kransen på dyre Rolex ure i 1997? Og var den tanke i virkeligheden møntet på ham selv som reaktion på det Rolex, han selv yder at bære om sin arm? Kristian erhvervede sig et Rolex GMT-Master i 1982. Et ur han mente han ikke kunne leve foruden. Dengang var han en ung og aspirerende kapitalist, der var hjernevasket af en pseudo overklassestil a la Brideshead og i virkeligheden drømte han om at være en del af et ”anakronistisk magt hierarki”, som han selv udtrykte i et interview jeg lavede om ham til Børsen Pleasure.

Eftersom The Hornsleth Fuck You Art Lovers Rolex Project er født i Kristians snørklede hoved, så er det vel på sin rette plads at kalde disse ure for kunst. Men for mig er de cirka 20 Rolex ure, der nu bærer Kristians signatur, også et udtryk for ejernes glæde ved og hyldest af hans kunst, at de ligefrem vil bære det som en visuel redningskrans, der omringer det vi har allermindst af: Tid.

Er The Hornsleth Fuck You Art Lovers Rolex Project ’blot’ et kunstprojekt på samme niveau som Havfruens afhuggede hoved: en provokerende reaktion imod det etablerede, det elskede og respekterede som kunst jo så ofte er?

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The Langeland school Massacre Project by Kristian von Hornsleth

To make the project a reality, I needed the ingredients. The first stage was already there. Picture this; A picturesque island called Langeland. Drive two hours from Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, and you’re there. There’s a free minded boarding school, atypical of the best traditions that the Danish education system prides itself for, called ‘Langelands Efterskole’. Public funding keeps it running, and the influx of students are 9th and 10th Graders, all with potential that needs honing in painting, photography, drama etc. We’re talking about a serious arts focus here. Anyway, they approached me about doing an art workshop for a day, teaching theory and practice according to my own particular style. But, why do something that teachers can already do? There had to be something more interesting, more proactive and frankly more activist for the students to grab hold of as a concept and fly with. Little could I have known. But, let’s put this in context. Don’t dismiss Langelands as being just another school. Far from it. It’s very popular because most of the kids have never been living away from home before, and they quickly find that there’s a unique freedom of artistic expression there, revitalising their confidence and rejuvinating their creativity in readiness for highschool.

And that was it! Columbine. That was the point of focus, and for want of a better word, the inspiration. All students were teamed up in small groups, and the task was simple. Stage, produce and print out at least five photos form each group, showing how a school shooting accident would look like if it had happened at this school. We all agreed to meet at the end of the day in the main hall and hang the photos and talk about them. The result was amazing. I thought it all would have gone unserious and inhibited. But was I wrong. Out came over hundred chilling enthusiastic but very creative and elaborate photos. The local teachers were chocked and tearful. How could their small babies depict these horrific scenes, and with such convincing skills? That was and still is the question. Where does kids learn the language of extreme violence?

Kristian von Hornsleth, 2009

Well, now you understand that, you see that there was an opportunity to do something far more than just explain how to paint! This could be a performance piece about the nature of violence. It happens there, just look at Columbine.

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DEEP STORAGE PROJECT By Kristian von Hornsleth

November 2013 First land based star sculpture erected in Vejle, Denmark.

Of course there are endless questions and answers as to how we relate to eternity. Out of all these discussions with my self and fellow artists I decided to create a world wide art project where people would be invited to invest a tiny bit of them selves into a sculpture to be placed in the deepest location know on the planet. Each participant are invited to invest a bloddrop and hairsample as well as bring DNA from plants and animals.

December 2013 Deep Storage Sculpture containing 4556 blood drop samples sunk in the Marianas Trench, Pacific Ocean.

Inspired by computer industry research about long term saving digital information I called the art work ‘Deep Storage Project’.

November 2014 Documentary film ‘Deep Storage Project’ premieres in Copenhagen

I believe a great art work is about raising interesting questions and thereafter let the public enjoy what ever thought pattern it may appear in their minds. I wanted to challenge the perception of not only what eternity means to us, but how its boundaries control and define us spiritually and philosophically. Fundamentally, it’s also refering to an investigation of the Deep as such, both as a fascinating geographical and philosophic phenomena, with the sculpts resting place being chosen as the sea.

So, what’s the idea behind ‘The Deep Storage Project’?

January 2009 Collection of hair and blood drop samples begins world wide and documentary film follows the project.

My idea with Deep Storage Project was to create an art project investigating the concept of eternity. One of my first questions to myself in the initial phases was, how and why do we humans store our cultural identity in the hope of passing ourselves on to further times? Think about the cavepaintings, the pyramids, and all the other great voices from the past, why was it so important for them to save and secure their cultural indetity? Was it mere vanity or maybe a survival instinct related to evolutionary psychology? Will we have problems with saving the human race as such? Who will be here in 30.000 years to read our signals and we enjoy the signals from former times?

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Ten identical sculptures will be placed at selected locations around the globe. These sculptures I call The Deep Storage Sister Sculptures and they are similar to the actual main Deep Storage sculpture that contains all the collected DNA material, and is going into the Marianas Trench.

Let’s just think about it for a moment. Imagine you’re walking somewhere, anywhere on the planet, and suddenly you see one of the sister sculpts. It’s a reminder, something to ensure that nobody forgets what’s resting in the darkest, coldest environment known to man, surviving under the incredible pressure of eleven tones to every square centimeter of its structure. You might think about the fact that all the DNA samples, be they human or otherwise, are not chosen from any political, racial, economic or religious criteria, merely from the fact that all of the participants were interested in becoming a part of this art project. In a way, when they see one of the sculpts, they’re seeing a part of themselves. If you walk into a gallery, you look at the exhibition and take in whatever meaning it has for you. How long is it before it’s yesterday’s thoughts and nothing more than a half-remembered moment. This is different. By taking and storing the DNA samples, our volunteers are entering into a contract with the art piece itself, and they become part of the expression and meaning that others interpret. It might occur to you that humanity might not make it in the future because of pollution or war, but if the DNA samples should be found by science, and all the participants were recreated, maybe the genes of art lovers wouldn’t be the worst building material for a new human race. If people see, they will always want to interpret what it means, and what better way is there to express their thoughts so it has meaning for others as well.

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// The Deep Storage Project

So, what’s the idea behind ‘The Deep Storage Project’? My idea with Deep Storage Project was to create an art project investigating the concept of eternity. One of my first questions to myself in the initial phases was, how and why do we humans store our cultural identity in the hope of passing ourselves on to further times? Think about the cavepaintings, the pyramids, and all the other great voices from the past, why was it so important for them to save and secure their cultural indetity? Was it mere vanity or maybe a survival instinct related to evolutionary psychology? Will we have problems with saving the human race as such? Who will be here in 30.000 years to read our signals and we enjoy the signals from former times? Of course there are endless questions and answers as to how we relate to eternity. Out of all these discussions with my self and fellow artists I decided to create a world wide art project where people would be invited to invest a tiny bit of them selves into a sculpture to be placed in the deepest location know on the planet. Each participant are invited to invest a bloddrop and hairsample as well as bring DNA from plants and animals. Inspired by computer industry research about long term saving digital information I called the art work ‘Deep Storage Project’.

in their minds. I wanted to challenge the perception of not only what eternity means to us, but how its boundaries control and define us spiritually and philosophically. Fundamentally, it’s also refering to an investigation of the Deep as such, both as a fascinating geographical and philosophic phenomena, with the sculpts resting place being chosen as the sea. Ten identical sculptures will be placed at selected locations around the globe. These sculptures I call The Deep Storage Sister Sculptures and they are similar to the actual main Deep Storage sculpture that contains all the collected DNA material, and is going into the Marianas Trench. Let’s just think about it for a moment. Imagine you’re walking somewhere, anywhere on the planet, and suddenly you see one of the sister sculpts. It’s a reminder, something to ensure that nobody forgets what’s resting in the darkest, coldest environment known to man, surviving under the incredible pressure of eleven tones to every square centimeter of its structure. You might think about the fact that all the DNA samples, be they human or otherwise, are not chosen from any political, racial, economic or religious criteria, merely from the fact that all of the participants were interested in becoming a part of this art project. In a way, when they see one of the sculpts, they’re seeing a part of themselves.

I believe a great art work is about raising interesting questions and thereafter let the public enjoy what ever thought pattern it may appear

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If you walk into a gallery, you look at the exhibition and take in whatever meaning it has for you. How long is it before it’s yesterday’s thoughts and nothing more than a half-remembered moment. This is different. By taking and storing the DNA samples, our volunteers are entering into a contract with the art piece itself, and they become part of the expression and meaning that others interpret. It might occur to you that humanity might not make it in the future because of pollution or war, but if the DNA samples should be found by science, and all the participants were recreated, maybe the genes of art lovers wouldn’t be the worst building material for a new human race. If people see, they will always want to interpret what it means, and what better way is there to express their thoughts so it has meaning for others as well. So, what’s the idea behind ‘The Deep Storage Project’? My idea with Deep Storage Project was to create an art project investigating the concept of eternity. One of my first questions to myself in the initial phases was, how and why do we humans store our cultural identity in the hope of passing ourselves on to further times? Think about the cavepaintings, the pyramids, and all the other great voices from the past, why was it so important for them to save and secure their cultural indetity? Was it mere vanity or maybe a survival instinct related to evolutionary psychology? Will we have problems with saving the human race as such? Who will be here in 30.000 years to read our signals and we enjoy the signals from former times?

THE UGANDA PROJECT

Of course there are endless questions and answers as to how we relate to eternity. Out of all these discussions with my self and fellow artists I decided to create a world wide art project where people would be invited to invest a tiny bit of them selves into a sculpture to be placed in the deepest location know on the planet. Each participant are invited to invest a bloddrop and hairsample as well as bring DNA from plants and animals. Inspired by computer industry research about long term saving digital information I called the art work ‘Deep Storage Project’. I believe a great art work is about raising interesting questions and thereafter let the public enjoy what ever thought pattern it may appear in their minds. I wanted to challenge the perception of not only what eternity means to us, but how its boundaries control and define us spiritually and philosophically. Fundamentally, it’s also refering to an investigation of the Deep as such, both as a fascinating geographical and philosophic phenomena, with the sculpts resting place being chosen as the sea. Ten identical sculptures will be placed at selected locations around the globe. These sculptures I call The Deep Storage Sister Sculptures and they are similar to the actual main Deep Storage sculpture that contains all the collected DNA material, and is going into the Marianas Trench. Let’s just think about it for a moment. Imagine you’re walking somewhere, anywhere on the planet, and suddenly you see one of the sister sculpts. It’s a reminder, something to ensure that nobody forgets what’s resting in the darkest, coldest environment known to

man, surviving under the incredible pressure of eleven tones to every square centimeter of its structure. You might think about the fact that all the DNA samples, be they human or otherwise, are not chosen from any political, racial, economic or religious criteria, merely from the fact that all of the participants were interested in becoming a part of this art project. In a way, when they see one of the sculpts, they’re seeing a part of themselves. If you walk into a gallery, you look at the exhibition and take in whatever meaning it has for you. How long is it before it’s yesterday’s thoughts and nothing more than a half-remembered moment. This is different. By taking and storing the DNA samples, our volunteers are entering into a contract with the art piece itself, and they become part of the expression and meaning that others interpret. It might occur to you that humanity might not make it in the future because of pollution or war, but if the DNA samples should be found by science, and all the participants were recreated, maybe the genes of art lovers wouldn’t be the worst building material for a new human race. If people see, they will always want to interpret what it means, and what better way is there to express their thoughts so it has meaning for others as well.

So, what’s the idea behind ‘The Deep Storage Project’? My idea with Deep Storage Project was to create an art project investigating the concept of eternity. One of my first questions to myself in the initial phases was, how and why do we humans store our cultural identity in the hope of passing ourselves on to further times? Think about the cavepaintings, the pyramids, and all the other great voices from the past, why was it so important for them to save and secure their cultural indetity? Was it mere vanity or maybe a survival instinct related to evolutionary psychology? Will we have problems with saving the human race as such? Who will be here in 30.000 years to read our signals and we enjoy the signals from former times? Of course there are endless questions and answers as to how we relate to eternity. Out of all these discussions with my self and fellow artists I decided to create a world wide art project where people would be invited to invest a tiny bit of them selves into a sculpture to be placed in the deepest location know on the planet. Each participant are invited to invest a bloddrop and hairsample as well as bring DNA from plants and animals. Inspired by computer industry research about long term saving digital information I called the art work ‘Deep Storage Project’.

I believe a great art work is about raising interesting questions and thereafter let the public enjoy what ever thought pattern it may appear in their minds. I wanted to challenge the perception of not only what eternity means to us, but how its boundaries control and define us spiritually and philosophically. Fundamentally, it’s also refering to an investigation of the Deep as such, both as a fascinating geographical and philosophic phenomena, with the sculpts resting place being chosen as the sea. Ten identical sculptures will be placed at selected locations around the globe. These sculptures I call The Deep Storage Sister Sculptures and they are similar to the actual main Deep Storage sculpture that contains all the collected DNA material, and is going into the Marianas Trench. Let’s just think about it for a moment. Imagine you’re walking somewhere, anywhere on the planet, and suddenly you see one of the sister sculpts. It’s a reminder, something to ensure that nobody forgets what’s resting in the darkest, coldest environment known to man, surviving under the incredible pressure of eleven tones to every square centimeter of its structure.

If you walk into a gallery, you look at the exhibition and take in whatever meaning it has for you. How long is it before it’s yesterday’s thoughts and nothing more than a half-remembered moment. This is different. By taking and storing the DNA samples, our volunteers are entering into a contract with the art piece itself, and they become part of the expression and meaning that others interpret. It might occur to you that humanity might not make it in the future because of pollution or war, but if the DNA samples should be found by science, and all the participants were recreated, maybe the genes of art lovers wouldn’t be the worst building material for a new human race. If people see, they will always want to interpret what it means, and what better way is there to express their thoughts so it has meaning for others as well.

You might think about the fact that all the DNA samples, be they human or otherwise, are not chosen from any political, racial, economic or religious criteria, merely from the fact that all of the participants were interested in becoming a part of this art project. In a way, when they see one of the sculpts, they’re seeing a part of themselves.

HORNSLETH

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Proin vel est vitae 2001

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THE UGANDA PROJECT

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Proin vel est vitae 2001

Proin vel est vitae 2001

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Proin vel est vitae 2001

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THE UGANDA PROJECT

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Proin vel est vitae eros pretium 2000

Proin vel est vitae eros pretium 2000

Proin vel est vitae eros pretium 2000

Proin vel est vitae eros pretium 2000

Taiwan

Mariana Trench

Mont everest 29,029 feet

Mariana Trench The Philippines

Matterhorn 14,690 feet

Mariana Trench 36,069 feet deep North Pacific Ocean

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fotos af skabelsen!

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HORNSLETH BIG BOOK COMPLETE WORKS  

COMPLETE WORKS 2005 - 2015 INCLUDING A SELECTION OF EARLY WORKS

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