Camp Lejre

Project description of CAMP, Lejre

The project CAMP, Lejre is an international art project, taking place in the local area near Lejre Station:  Lejre, Allerslev and Gl. Lejre, on the island of Zealand, Denmark.

In CAMP, Lejre the local community meet an international network of artists, consisting of both established and younger contemporary artists. In co-operation with interested families, tradesmen and the municipality of Lejre, the approximately 50 participating artists from Iceland, Germany and Denmark, including the resident artists from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Holland and France, will install temporary works of art and carry out artistic projects in private homes, gardens, garages, on fields and in public space in the local area.

The project is open to the public for three weekends in August, i.e. August 11-12, August 18-19 and August 25-26 (Saturdays and Sundays). Using a detailed map with addresses and information about the individual projects one can travel on an art odyssey to Lejre by foot, by bicycle or car. The map is available free of charge at the bicycle shop at Lejre Station, where one can also hire bicycles.

The local residents in Lejre have taken an overwhelming interest in the project. The community house \\\\\\\"Felix\\\\\\\" will be involved in the project as a meeting place for artists, residents and the public. The works of art will be put up in week 32, where the community house will be at the disposal of CAMP, Lejre for overnight stays and as a co-ordination centre for the artists. Throughout the project the community house will function as a base and an information café will be open to the public. The opening, with live music, bar and café will also take place here.

The Artists

The participating artists are: Kaj Nyborg (DK), Per Bak Jensen (DK), Kim Asbury (DK), Finn Reinbothe (DK), Michael Mørk (DK), Karen Bjerresgaard (DK), Jeanette Schou (DK), Sofus Ejler Jepsen (DK), Kirsten Dufour (DK), Finn Thybo Andersen (DK), Lise Harlev (DK), Anders Q Nielsen (DK), Camilla Berner (DK), Mette Gamst (DK), Mikkel Larris (DK), Karena Nomi (DK), Hanne Godtfeldt (DK), Morten Tillitz (DK), Mette Dalsgård (DK), Nanna Gro Henningsen (DK), John Krogh (DK), Alda Sigurdardóttir (IS), Ásmundur Ásmundsson (IS), Harpa Arnadóttir (IS), Hlynur Hallson (IS), Margrét Blöndal (IS), Berlind Sigurdardóttir (IS), Erling Klingenberg (IS), Inga Jónsdóttir (IS), Ragna Róbertsdóttir (IS), Ingólfur Arnarsson (IS), Finnnbogi Petursson (IS), Steinunn Helga Sigurdardóttir (IS), Christane Löhr (D), Anett Weisenburger (D), Carsten Greife (D), Jürgen Witte (D), Beathe C. Rønning (N), John Øivind Eggesbøe (N), Åsa Sonjasdottir (S), Maria Werger (S), Al Mason (FR), Rosan Bosch (NL).

The group of invited artists is composed of recognised and younger artists from eight different countries in Scandinavia and countries in nearby Europe. The experience of the participants ranges from an academy student to a current participant at the Biannual in Venice. An important aspect of CAMP, Lejre is that the artists have the opportunity to meet in Lejre and to enter into a dialogue with one another and their local hosts under informal conditions during the period leading up to the project itself. The idea of the project is to investigate what happens when the work of art no longer has a home advantage in the gallery or the museum, but has to cope in a modern local society. Artists seldom have the chance to meet the reaction of the public so directly as they will be able to in CAMP, Lejre.

In other words, in CAMP, Lejre the artists work in a non-institutional context, the works are site-specific and may actively incorporate the hosts. The project is not to be seen as a pedagogical display of contemporary art, but as a direct 1:1 meeting between the artists and residents. Every single artistic project must be seen individually, but common to CAMP, Lejre is the investigation of what defines, delimits and influences the work of art, as well as the relationship between the work, the artist and the observer outside the protective sphere of the art institution. The artists who are invited represent a broad field in terms of choice of media, themes and artistic praxis.

The Project Group

The Project Group behind CAMP; Lejre consists of the artists: Steinunn Helga Sigurdardóttir (IS, living in Lejre), Hanne Godtfeldt (DK), John Krogh (DK), Mette Dalsgård (DK), Morten Tillitz (DK) and Nanna Gro Henningsen (DK), who will also actively participate in the project as artists.

The participants in the project group have had professional artistic, practical and administrative experience with similar projects during the last five years. The originator of the project, Steinunn Helga Sigurdardóttir, who has studied at the Art Academies of respectively Reykjavik and Düsseldorf, has for the last three years been one of the three artists responsible for the art project GUK (D/DK/IS. www.simnet.is/guk). Hanne Godtfeldt and Nanna Gro Henningsen have been curators for Danish and international dialogue-exhibitions in co-operation with four other artists in North Exhibition Space, an artist run gallery in central Copenhagen (www.north-udstillingssted.dk). Morten Tillitz and Mette Dalsgård have, as members of the group of artists called e-rum, been co-organisers of project-e. This project was an intrusion into the public space of Odense City and was carried out with a large number of volunteers.

Network

In our experience, practical co-operation concerning a concrete project is the best way to create useful networks between artists. Today, it is the usual practice that professional artists base their exhibition praxis partly on traditional art institutions and partly on projects which have artists as curators. This tendency is international, and the practical network which is established in this way, is often of a greater and more permanent value than a single institutional exhibition. In the long term, the personal contact between artists often gives rise to new projects of co-operation with different constellations of people.

Furthermore, in CAMP, Lejre the artists will be able to gain a rare insight into another European/Scandinavian local community, and through meeting the work of foreign artists in a particularly Danish setting, the public will gain insight into cultural and ethnic similarities and differences.
 
Relay project

CAMP, Lejre is designed as a relay project, which can be repeated in a new form in various countries during the following years. The participating Icelandic artist Inga Jónsdóttir has already begun research into the possibility of carrying out \\\\\\\"CAMP, Höfn i Hornafirdi\\\\\\\" in Iceland in the year 2002, and several German artists have expressed their interest in holding CAMP somewhere in Germany, in the year 2003.

 
My work in Camp Lejre:

Lejre, June 3rd 2001.

Dear host.

I am sending you a letter in the hope that you will participate in my project Camp Lejre 2001.

I want to ask you to write on the postcard I’m enclosing in the envelope a memory from your house. (A memory you have had in your house.) This memory should only fill one side of the postcard. It should also be written by hand.

I’m going to make 8000 postcards with your memories, which all visitors can take with them from the exhibition Camp/Lejre. If there are any postcards left after the exhibition, I may possibly use them later. I will write your name and address on the back of the postcard, but only with your permission. I hope you will send me the postcard with your memory. If you have any questions, you can phone me or send me an email.

Best regards,

Steinunn Helga Sigurdardóttir