“always together – mostly happy” German – Danish group show. Godsbanen Århus/Gängeviertel Hamburg 2020

The first time on the other side of the Elbe, Godsbanen Århus. Photo: Jens Axel Beck
It was difficult to understand that the boarder had disappeared over night.
That it suddenly became possible to drive endlessly in direction of the west.
Nobody had believed it would happen. But now the joy was huge and completely strangers felt into each others arms. Tears was flowing on both sides of the river.
Suddenly I was living in the middle of Germany -
if I go to a cafe I always choose a safe corner
- never the middle of the room.
Gängeviertel Hamburg. Photo: Kimberly Horton

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“always together - mostly happy” Århus/Hamburg 2020
Kurateret af Carsten Rabe og Mette Juul

Dette projekt indgik i det tysk danske venskabsår 2020 - et samarbejdsinitiativ fra det tyske udenrigsministerium, Goetheinstituttet og Statens Kunstfond (DK) der fejrede det årtier lange naboskab og kulturelle fællesskab gennem Danmark og Tyskland.

Jeg valgte at vise to tidligere værker omhandlende mit eget møde med den tidligere tysk-tyske grænse og beboerne i grænselandet i en lille tysk landsby.

I forbindelse med udstillingen initierede Carsten Rabe A CORONA DIARY heri kunne man læse mit dagbog "Distant Love"

“always together - mostly happy” Århus/Hamburg 2020
Curated by Carsten Rabe og Mette Juul

This project was part of the german-danish cultural friendship year 2020- a comprehensive and collaborative initative of german federal foreign office and the goethe-institut, celebrating and developing the decades-long relationship of grounded in commln values and interests, setting an international example of peaceful coexistence in 21st century.
I choose two former works about my own meeting with the former German-German boarder.

In connection with the exhibition Carsten Rabe Initiated A CORONA ARTISTS DIARY. My contribution was called "Distant Love".

The first time on the other side of the Elbe 2003
From January to April 2003 I lived at Bleckede, an artists’ residence. While studying the local archives I discovered that the river outside my window had previously defined the border between East and West Germany.  During  the 40 years the river had divided the village it had been forbidden,and associated with life threatening danger  to cross the river. I decided  to examine  how the citizens’ relationship to the surrounding landscape had been affected by the taboo this  historic course of events  had created. I interviewed people from both sides of the river to hear their thoughts and feelings regarding the first day they had been  allowed to cross the river.  I then chose sentences  to be printed on curtains that were  hung up in  the local  viewing towers where one could  see both sides of the river.

Thanks to the citizens of Bleckede and Künstlerstätte Bleckede

The first time on the other side. Art Week Cph DK 2019
Performance on the Copenhagen Canals 90 minutes.The manuscript for this performance is based on conversations with the residents of Bleckede as well as 3 months of research in the local archives in winter 2003, and a visit to the city in 2019. Names have been changed and the historical events rewritten into a fiction adapted to Copenhagen's channels.

The river through the city had for 40 years served as a border between East and West Germany, but in December 1989 the ferry service returned and again it became possible to visit neighbors and family members. I made, during my stay at Künstlerstätte Schloss Bleckede, a number of interviews with residents on both sides about thoughts and feelings, when they for the first time sailed to the other side after the border's abolition.

The public was given an identity card with a new name and identity. As the story progressed, the names were included in descriptions of how it was experienced to cross the forbidden river after all the years. The stories were accompanied by accordion music.

The performance is a development of a public work in Bleckede from 2003.

Performance: Sally Ravn, Kai-Aage Andersen
Accordion: Kai-Aage Andersen
Manuscript, props and performance: Mette Kit Jensen

This project was part of the german-danish cultural friendship year 2020- a comprehensive and collaborative initative of german federal foreign office and the goethe-institut, celebrating and developing the decades-long relationship of grounded in common values and interests, setting an international example of peaceful coexistence in 21st century