ARKEN Bulletin

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About the Bulletin

ARKEN BULLETIN is a peer-reviewed publication in which Danish and international researchers discuss academic questions within art, museology and art theory. The bulletin publishes research results from ARKEN’s exhibition and data gathering activity for the international research and museum environment. The publication’s articles also supplement any communication regarding exhibitions, catalogues, research seminars and lectures.

Available in English.

Purchase previous issues in ARKEN WEBSHOP and in ARKEN SHOP. The recent issue is published as eBook only. Full text freely accessible online.

From a Grain of Dust to the Cosmos

ARKEN Bulletin vol. 8. 2020

Starry skies, hybrid beings and the inner of an atom. This special issue of ARKEN Bulletin explores connections between the unfathomably big and the incomprehesibly small.

The present pandemic and the climate crises show us the interconnectedness of nature and humans in new ways, and this can make us feel small and yet interconnected. Through centuries, art has processed questions: What is a human, and which place does humankind have in the ecosystems on Earth and in the universe’s vast system of galaxies?

In this issue of ARKEN Bulletin, seven scholars take us on a tour to outer space and to the inner ear channels, where contemporary art merges with scientific disciplines such as physics, astronomy and biology.



Christian Gether

Introduction. From a Grain of Dust to the Cosmos

Gry Hedin & Anne Kølbæk Iversen

Visualising the Invisible, Imagining the (Im)possible

Anne Kølbæk Iversen

Cosmic Care

Tobias Dias

Using Gold and Crossing Time in Contemporary Art

Gry Hedin

The End of the Technological Utopia

Katrine K. Pedersen

Precarious Forecasts in Danish Contemporary Art

Dea Antonsen

Germinal Monsters and New Kinships in Contemporary Art

Kerstin Borchhardt

Nature (Re)turns, Dear Planet & From a Grain of Dust to the Cosmos

Sarah Pihl Petersen

The Art of Taking Part


‘Participation’ is currently high on the agenda in arts and culture. At museums the visitor has become a user who is invited to take part. In art, the viewer has become a producer who contributes to the creation of a work. Participation has evolved alongside new understandings of the role of the museum and the audience, which are linked to new technologies and new art practices, but also to cultural policies, the experience economy and institutional legitimisation. The word participation itself raises a number of is questions. When do we participate? How do we participate? What do we participate in? And for what reasons?

The Art of Taking Part focuses on participation at the museum. Eight academics and curators explore the concept of participation from different angles: as a strategic tool at museums, as an art practice, as an analytical focus, as part of the exhibition situation and the institution of the museum, and as an educational approach. It takes us through artworks by Palle Nielsen, Karoline H. Larsen, Yayoi Kusama and Jesper Just, as well as concepts like the participatory museum, participatory art, affective encounters, performativity, co-production, the commons, and democracy.

ARKEN BULLETIN Vol. 7 is part of ARKEN’s research project Participationism – Dogma and Realm of Possibility supported by the Danish Ministry of Culture’s Research Committee.

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Camilla Jalving
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The Art Museum Today: Participation as a Strategic Tool

Stine Høholt
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When and How Do We Participate?

Maj Klindt
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Situating Participatory Art Between Process and Practice

Michael Birchall
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Co-creation and Affect in Karoline H Larsen’s Collective Dreams

Dorthe Juul Rugaard
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The Affects of the Artwork: On the Material Art Object and the Affective Encounter in the Art Exhibition

Mette Thobo-Carlsen
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Affect and the Participatory Event

Camilla Jalving
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Democratic Participation in the Art Encounter

Lise Sattrup
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Public and Commons: The Problem of Inclusion for Participation

Helen Graham
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ARKEN BULLETIN vol. 6, 2013

Migration is a relatively new phenomenon in the study of visual art forms. In the ARKEN BULLETIN vol. 6, migration is treated as a contemporary art subject and raises questions such as:

How do you analyse the relationship between migration and globalisation based on an aesthetic perspective? Which analytical tools can be brought into focus when the art also relates to a local and global aesthetic? Which discursive framework concepts can you work with curatorially and what are their strengths and weaknesses.

With contribution from a number of academics, curators and critics, the publication investigates how the ‘global’ contemporary art and Indian art works with the cultural aspects of concepts such as migration, exile, belonging, diaspora, hybridity and cultural identity. It focuses particularly on the new generation of artists from India such as Bharti Kher, Subodh Gupta, Rina Banerjee, Thukral & Tagra etc., who have in recent years become prominent on the international art scene by giving globalisation’s cultural effects new artistic expression.


Cities, Mobilities, Contemporary Art

Saloni Mathur

Art Moves

Mieke Bal

Strategies of Localization

Marie Laurberg

The Artist as Migrant Worker? Framing Art in an Age of Intensified Globalization and Migration

Anne Ring Petersen

Transcultural Curating of Art from India

Gayatri Sinha

No Place Like Home

Mathias Ussing Seeberg

Performing in Transit. Identities and Spaces of Agency in THE ESCAPE! Resume/Reset

Dorthe Juul Rugaard and Christina Papsø Weber

Utopic Curating

ARKEN BULLETIN vol. 5, 2010

What is the museum’s purpose – what can it do – and why and how? ARKEN BULLETIN vol. 5 focuses sharply on the museum’s role and function, both today and in the future.

For three years ARKEN has, through exhibitions, research and communication, investigated utopia’s status – in art as well as society. Through the concept of ‘Utopic Curating’ we want to highlight a new museal practice, which based on a breakthrough within art itself directs its focus towards the same purpose as the exhibitions.

Through a number of articles from Danish and international writers, suggestions are offered as to the art institution’s role and changed function from keeper of knowledge to social player. Key ideas include citizenship, outreach and new curatorial practices that focus on dialogue, participation and sensory experience.


A Museum for Participative Man

Christian Gether

Mapping Utopia

Camilla Jalving

Pontus Hultén and the Open Museum

Magnus af Petersens

The Museum as Generator

Marie Laurberg

Kickstarting Utopia: An example of outreach

Christina Papsø Weber

Custom-made: A new culture for museums and galleries in civil society

Bernadette Lynch

The Negotiating Museum

Tone Hansen

Inside/Outside the Consumerist Loop

Stine Høholt

Damien Hirst

ARKEN BULLETIN vol. 4, 2009

British artist Damien Hirst (born 1965) is the focus of ARKEN BULLETIN’s vol. 4.
We want to contribute towards an in-depth review of his work, which relates to the important and critical debates on contemporary art. Our objective is to present Hirst like a prism, through which you can observe and discuss contemporary art.

Damien Hirst’s artistic practice draws on a number of cultural spheres: knowledge and medicine, art history, religion and pop culture. This mix has turned him into a point of irritation for a wide spectrum of art critics  – from the conservative purists for whom his works are the endless proof of the corruption of all artistic quality, to left-wing critics who reject his art as the victory of commercialism over all artistic endeavours.

Since Hirst’s breakthrough in the early 1990s, he has had the ability to generate headlines in the tabloids like no other artist. Despite the public attention, thorough research-based studies of his art are still lacking. This volume therefore integrates debates and methodical approaches to Hirst’s art and contemporary art in general.


On Limits and Transgressions: What is ’Beyond Belief’? Experiencing Damien Hirst’s For the Love of God at White Cube Gallery, London, 1 June 2007

Christian Gether

It’s Healthy to Be Afraid

Interview with Damien Hirst by Christian Gether

Inside the System. Damien Hirst: Performing Post-Industrial Visuality

Marie Laurberg

Village Green Preservation Society. Damien Hirst Seen from America

Thomas Crow

Laughing in the Face of Death

Christoph Grunenberg

The Distance of the Image

Barry Schwabsky

Processing the Undead. Damien Hirst’s Natural History

Petra Lange-Berndt

Damien Hirst’s Readymade Designs

Alex Coles

Damien Hirst’s Death Drive. Contemporary Art after Irony

Rex Butler

Contemporary painting

ARKEN BULLETIN vol. 3, 2006

Death bells have tolled several times for the painting in the 20th century. However, a glance at contemporary art reveals that the painting is alive and kicking.

ARKEN BULLETIN vol. 3 focuses on the aesthetic views and artistic strategies that define paintings today, which contributes to a more nuanced approach than the either/or logic that has dominated discussions on the painting since the 1960’s.

This subject was honoured by two exhibitions at ARKEN, both about the contemporary painting. Painter brain! Young Danish painting focusing on a group of young artists, who all turn away from the figurative and the narrative. HI BOB – Greatest Hits. New paintings by Peter Bonde  presented new works from the artists, which combined painting, everyday objects, photographs and TV screens into one monumental installation.


Peter Bonde: Proximity without Intimacy

Dorthe Rugaard Jørgensen

Peter Bonde: Mental Stage Props

Peter Doroshenko

Abjection and Construction of Identity

Christian Gether

Painting after ‘Isms’: “The New Leipzig School”

Gregory Williams

Art-silly adjective I Lacking Good Sense

Jonathan Harris

Encounters with Painting: Gendered Practices and Virtual Embodiment

Rosemary Betterton

Painting’s Elastic Context

Lytle Shaw

Go Figure! Young Danish Painting

Stine Høholt

ARKEN’s collection

ARKEN BULLETIN vol. 2, 2004

Since its foundation in 1996, ARKEN has collected Danish, Nordic and international contemporary art with a focus on art created post- 1990.

11 works from ARKEN’s collection are discussed in vol.2 of ARKEN BULLETIN. Six researchers and four curators communicate their insight into some of the most significant topics and practices that concern contemporary artists.

The articles present works of art created in the period 1998-2004 in different media, from installation and video to paintings. Current positions on the international art scene are represented through works by artists such as Tony Oursler, Olafur Eliassson, Martin Erik Andersen, Bill Viola, Elina Merenmies, Tal R, John Bock, Elmgreen & Dragset, Vibeke Tandberg and Damien Hirst.


Happy Birthday or the Cruelty of Love

Camilla Jalving

Message from the Medium

Andreas Brøgger

Olafur Eliasson – Mobile Vision

Gunnar J. Árnason

Moving towards Dissolution: On Martin Erik Andersen’s Sculptures

Charlotte Præstegaard Schwartz

Vision of the Unspoken – Viola’s Heirotopy

Nicoletta Isar

Speak if You Can – Poetic Monsters and Metamorphoses in Elina Merenmies’ Art

Thomas Ivan Träskman

Expression and Strategy in Tal R’s Painting

Dorthe Rugaard Jørgensen

A Jester in Wonderland

Marie Louise Helveg

Gender Identity in Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s Art

Jennny Lund

Photography and ARKEN’s collection

ARKEN BULLETIN vol. 1, 2002

ARKEN BULLETIN’s first volume focuses on selected works in ARKEN’s collection of Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Ólafur Éliasson and Mona Hatoum.

The number also follows up on two seminars, Body & Manipulation and Framing Photography, which were held at ARKEN as part of the exhibitions MAN – Body in Art from 1950-2000 and The Wild West.

Body & Manipulation focused on the relationship between body, technology and culture, whereas Framing Photography discussed the different ways of writing the history of photography and incorporating photography into the museum institution and art history. The seminars reflected ARKEN’s interest in fundamental existential conditions, as they are expressed in art and museology.


Communicating in a Junk Culture – Tim Noble and Sue Webster: Falling Apart

Christian Gether

Aesthetics of Intimacy: Uncanny Objects in the recent Works of Mona Hatoum

Stine Høholt

Ethnographic Mapping: Olafúr Elíasson

Anette Østerby

The Monad in the Iron Cage

Henrik Jensen

Exit Homo? On Dehumanization in New Images of the Body

Jacob Wamberg

The Logics of Deflation: the Avant-garde and the Fate of the Photographic Snapshot

John Roberts

When Snapshots Became Art
– Documentary and Conceptual Strategies around 1970

Mette Sandbye

A Critical Discussion of the Historiography of Photography

Michel Frizot

A Slice of Living Reality?
Writing the History of Danish Interwar Photography

Mette Kia Krabbe Meyer

Framing Photography: Ten Years Later

Abigail Solomon-Godeau

Looking at Historical Photographs:
The Case of Edward S. Curtis

Mette Mortensen