The difference between Ernst kapers Vej 1, 2450 Cph SV and Højbro Plads is 3.15 metres.



Copenhagen is currently (2015) undergoing a transformation in connection with the Metro construction, and therefore several sculptures around the city have been removed to a storeroom.  For that reason, the exhibition space Sydhavn Station, proposed a project to  relocate these sculptures to the small square outside Sydhavn Station for the duration of the metroconstruction.

The result as a relocation of the sculpture “the fishmonger” that used to be situated in central Copenhagen right across from the big equestrian statue of Absalon (the founder of Copenhagen) and the national parliament. The fishmonger was erected in 1940 by the towncouncil in honor of the ladies who were selling fish in that spot, and perhaps also to claim, that these everyday endeavors were as worthy of having a sculpture carved as were primeministers and founding fathers. In a way this social story of what is fine enough for art, seemed to fit quite well to the social story of Sydhavn Station.

Furthermore, we also had a large billboard mounted under the railway bridge next to the statue. During 2015-16, the 10 artists from Exhibition Space Sydhavn Station will exhibit works on this billboard that will accompany, frame and contextualize – or be accompanied framed and contextualized by this sculpture of another artistic time and tradition.

My own contribution to the billboard was displayed in July and August, and was a 1:1 photo of the statue of the equestrian statue of Absalon that used to be the neighbouring sculpture of the fishmonger. This picture was to scale in size as well as in “height above sealevel”. Sydhavn Station is 3.15 meters higher above sealevel that Højbro Plads where Absalon is, and where the fishmonger used to stand. This means that the picture of Absalon did not fit the size of the poster, and that it was cut, so that the image of the statue would be cut at the height above sealevel of the more elevated Sydhavn Station. The picture on the billboard was then, in effect a small part of the very tall statue, and Absalon on his high horse was also suddenly more in level with the fishmonger.

Committee of Common Men and Women

Committee of common men and women (2005 -2010) is a fantasy of an actual responsible organization of some actual people behind the powerful concepts of the common man/and woman.

Committee of common men and women’ has made a series of brochures, badges and posters that present and inform on the diversity of normalities , and imagine that people can take on an active kind of normality, and assume responsibility for the impact that thy have on the world.

One can for instance take an active part in the silent majority, against noisy times where all we hear is ourselves, or one can appraise the 2506th anniversary of the first Plebeian secession in Rome, rethink the notion of being “Only Human”, or enlist with the extremists from the subcommittee of “The Golden Mean”


Posters: Committee of common men and women

From 2006 to 2010, “Committee of Common Men and Women” made a series of posters. These posters advertises some of the subcommittees of the alleged organization, and presented the views of some exemplary normal people on some exemplary normal topics, in so-called Vox Pops. In time, these posters may all be translated into english, but so far, I will write small excerpts here, under each image. 

Translation: Folksy, festive and fun: (above)
“Since I felt that I absolutely had to do something, and times were hardly suitable for any serious practise, I decided to amuse myself with the praise of Folly” ( Erasmus of Rotterdam/1511/ in the dedication of his book “The Praise of Folly”, to his friend Thomas More.

Translation excerpt: The Silent Majority (above)
There are numerous occasions in this world that seem to make us want to keep quiet. On some quiet occasions one probably should say something, and on others there really isnt anymore that one can say.  One could also make some unpleasant idea go unmentioned in order to make it go away – which can be seen as a rather  militant, or activist kind of keeping still.
(text below image: Silence against terror/ Spain 2003)

Excerpt: Plebeian (common man/woman) (above)
A word with an ancient history; and a kind of historical version of the contemporary so-called “nobody”, that, in spite of having the rights of a citizen, nevertheless feels powerless exactly because of his or her unheeded appearance.

The Plebeians are mentioned in historical sources from the Roman Empire, and no-one knows for certain who the originals Plebeians really were. They were possibly immigrants t

Rome, or possibly just one of two groups of people, the Plebeians and Patricians, that had been classed as different peoples by the early Roman kings.

It was only later events that caused “Plebeian” to be the term to describe someone who had rights  without being patrician. To begin with the Plebeians didn’t have any rights, but after the institution of the “Lex Liciniae Sextiae”  (347 BC), they were able to get a seat in the senate. Some Plebeians even became very rich.”(…)

Translation of the above poster:
The Golden Mean –
 If you are serious about the middle

Th Golden Mean is a well-established and well documented philosophy of the middleground, and most people will, at some stage have considered to follow some of it’s  “in betweens”.

Renowned old sages such as Konfucius, Buddha, Pythagoras, Sokrates and Thomas of Aquinas have also taken their turn in this centre of all viewpoints.

The term itself is probably derived from a verse by Horace where he uses the words “Aurea Mediocritas”. If you are at all serious about the middleground, the Golden Mean is probably a god place to begin your search for the absolute center of all things.


Not to think of a white bear – 2009-2014

see more on

the white bear in China – 2009

“Try and set yourself the task not to think of a white bear, and the cursed thing comes to mind every minute” Fyodor Dostoyevskij, in “Winter Notes on Summer Impressions” 1863

In 2009, however  I managed to do what Dostoyevskij thought impossible in 1863, and got the bear out of my head. Since then it has been out of the head on several occasions. Now, this externalized inner beast, has even got it’s own website now where it shares it’s superficial experiences from the surface of things:

check it out on

Note from the Ivory Tower

I just cannot understand this sentence – a projection of a sentence by Hegel, from my fourth floor apartment onto the roof of the building across the street.

In June 2012, I was invited to make a piece for the webbased exhibition space torpedo18. a website for “inaccesible contemporary art” according to its own description. My contribution was a sentence projected from my ivory tower onto the rooftop across from me.

Here I cried out to other people with their nose in the sky, that there was this one sentence by Hegel – that I simply did not understand.

Below is the presentation text of the piece – which is, unfortunately still only in danish.
Note fra elfenbenstårnet:

værk til web-udstillingsstedet Torpedo18

I 1837 skrev litteraturkritikeren: Charles Augustin de Sainte Beuve om digteren: Alfred de Vigny, at han havde trykket sig tilbage til sit elfenbenstårn. Det var den første gang at dette bibelske symbol blev brugt til at udfordre en særlig art kunstnerisk verdensfjernhed.

Siden er megen selvretfærdig harme udgået fra dem der var nede på jorden imod dem der ikke rigtig havde jordforbindelse – men fra Torsdag d. 14 juni – torsdag d. 21 juni, vil jeg hver aften kaste et diffust lys ud af vinduet fra mit 4 sals elfenbenstårn i Rantzausgade, København, og forsøge at ramme en overflade af konkret materiale hvorpå elfenbenstårnets bekymringer kan bliver mere solide.

Afstanden imellem jorden og højden er der naturligvis stadig, men dem der befinder sig på 3. Sal eller mere, vil forhåbentlig kunne læse og spekulere over denne tekstbid af Hegel, fra afsnittet om ”Det abstrakte Kunstværk” i ”Åndens fænomenologi” fra 1807, som jeg simpelthen ikke forstår. Ifølge flere maniske lister på nettet kan man da også konstatere, at den er af ”verdens sværeste bøger” .

Jylland, øerne og Bornholm/ 2010

(scroll down for english summary)
Jylland, øerne og Bornholm – hvis Danmark kunne laves til kunst, hvordan ville dets koncept så se ud. Et samarbejde med Carsten Juhl

I 2010 blev jeg ansat af Carsten Juhl, lektor i teori og formidling på Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi, til at arkvere og skabe et indeksprincip for hans omfattende samling af udklip fra de seneste 9 års danske begivenheder.  I dette arbejde blev det hurtigt tydeligt at det danske var en hul ide, og således blev arkivet derfor et forsøg på at arkivere og konkretisere de danske luftigheder, samt et forslag til hvordan en sådan tomhed i sidste ende måske kan aktiveres i et utopisk ”hul igennem”.

Dette hullede indeksering-arbejde blev udstillet som et kunstværk på Overgaden, i forbindelse med udstillingen ”Verdens Lykkeligste Folk” i sommeren 2010. I den forbindelse bleb kildematerialet transformeret og til sidst ødelagt, men tilbage står der et indeksprincip for Danmark, som vil bliver offentliggjort i et bog-arbejde i 2011. Værket bestod af 7 store huller, der var sammenklippet af alle artiklerne fra arkivet. Ud af disse collager, klippede vi så de bogstaver som vi havde brug for til at skrive vores konklusion på arkivet.

Indexprincip: Hullerne bestod af avisartikler sorteret i følgende kategorier.

0. Intro:  artikler om f.eks arkivering og generelle ideer om huller…

1. hullet i jorden: artikler om f.eks kunstige landskaber, kunstighed, kunst, arkitektur, teater, kanon

2. åndehuller: Her kunne man finde artikler om f.eks  danmark på andre sprog, og frie ord

3. huller i lommen: artikler om f.eks. penge, dansk fedtethed, Alberti,

4. huller i landskabet:  landbrug, natur

5. huller i luften: som vinden blæser: cop 15, klima

6. hul i hukommelsen: historieskriving såsom  kanon og koldkrigsudredningen

7. hul igennem: f.eks om danmarks rolle i udlandet, fremtiden, danske øer, Utopia


Jylland øerne og bornholm – and archive of holes (english summary):

An airy principle for the archival of Denmark – a collaboration with Carsten Juhl

In  2010 I was employed by Carsten Juhl, (department of art theory at the Art Academy in Copenhagen) to organize his extensive collection of newspaperclippings of the last 9 years of danish events. In doing this, it soon became apparent, that danishness was a hollow idea. Thus the project became an archive of ungraspable hollowness’es – that together could hopefully form a big utopian hole; a much needed breakthrough. Thus, the archive was organized in 8 large holes, with each their theme – These holes were built out of the carefully sorted clippings, and the text of the clippings in each hole was then cut out, letter by letter, to write our interpretation of these recent danish events. The airy archival piece, was produced, shown, and destroyed at Overgaden , Institute of Contemprary art, 2010.

A speech to the silent majority


from 2010 to 2011 I held a series of speeches to the silent majority – following up on an interest in silence and majorities from Cabaret og War from 2007 and “the common man and womans committee” from 2006. 

The speech for the silent majority, is an outcry against outspoken times where I feel that too many unnecessary sincerities are shouted out manically maybe in fear of being labelled politically correct. In this speech, I try the difficult task of saying nothing eloquently, and of speaking without saying anything at all.

As my positive example I draw on commemorative silences held since WW1, John Cage’s silence in 3 movements 4.33– as well as a number of other great historic moments of emptyness, from the enlightenment to the facebook-age.

In the latest version of the speech, (see video above)  I translated it all from english to arabic and back to english again in google translate, ending with a translation of the famous dada words (dadamanifesto, Hugo Ball, 1916)

”dada m’dada, dada m’dada dada mhm, dada dera dada, dada Hue, dada Tza”

..which through this process became:

”m’dada Dada, Dada Dada m’dada important, Dera Dada dada, dada Hue, dadaTza”

…with that “important” in mind –  I took the chance to utter a hope for a new revolutionary language of alternative sense.


“Fejl i Skat” var et projekt om “oplevet retssikkerhed”   lavet for SKAT, der i 2010 bad mig, og 3 andre kunstnere undersøge  “oplevet retssikkerhed i mødet med skat”.

“Fejl i skat” er en kampagne retssikkerhed og retsstavning bygget op over de tastefejl der opstår når man skriver ordet  SKAT 1000 gange, under forskellige former for almindeligt forekommende pres. Det kan være pres såsom “skat – imens du bliver åndet i nakken” eller “skat – med hånden på hjertet”.

“Fejl i skat” bestod af en serie af foldere om de forskellige former for pres og deres tastefejl, en servicetelefon hvor synshæmmede borgere kunne ringe ind og få læst folderne op, samt en præsentation og konklusion på projektet på et slags fokusgruppe/borgermøde. (slideshowet ovenfor er en  digital gengivelse af denne præsentation)

Hør endvidere oplæsningen af alle folderne her nedenfor: 

 Skat imens jeg holder vejret:

Skat med hånden på hjertet:

Skat med kniven for struben:

Skat med venstre hånd:

Skat med bind for øjnene:

Skat så effektivt som muligt:




Cabaret of War/2007-2010

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Since I felt, that I absolutely had to do something, and times were hardly suitable for any serious practise, I decided to amuse myself, with the praise of Folly – Erasmus of Rotterdam in the dedication of his book, ”the praise of folly” to his friend Thomas More”. 1511

Cabaret of War is was series of presentations of my collection of Jokes from Warfilms; films and jokes that are both good and bad, heroic and desillusioned, good oldfashioned, contemporary and complicated. Up until now, the collection has been presented in three different performative versions, all titled Cabaret of War:

Cabaret of War version 1, A hazy outline of what is to come:  Was a prophesying shadowplay, about being so in the middle of things, that they seem but unclear contours – which is probably one reason why it can be so hard to determine whether some wars are wars or not.

Cabaret of war version 2 – A Praise of Folly
 Is an allnight cabaret show, with silly music, cheap drinks, howling mic’s and a bad taste in your mouth that made you want to clear your throat with a strong drink. It was a dinnershow with singing actresses and dinner – a night of laughing hysterically and insistently at something that is not really funny..

Cabaret of War version 3 – proactive stupidity
Is a onewoman show, with a selection of jokes about the warfilm-notion of a  difference between taking action and thinking too much – It is a show about education and brutality, finer things and dynamic things. In this show I play all the parts myself, together with a projection of me, acting in the light of history, on a background of representatons of war from media and arthistory.

Cabaret of War version 4 – The End
While Shrek 4 the final chapter is released, and all the world is consumed in the question of whether or not the world is coming to an end, I presented a number of jokes about the end, asking the question if there is a real chance of moving on in this world. This will probably also the be last version of my presentations of jokes from warfilms

Cabaret of War version 4 – The End – Filmed by Valdemar Siverstein Markussen –

Cabaret of war version 2 – Proactive Stupidity


En uheldig tendens/ An unfortunate tendency/2006


Letters delivered door to door in the local area of a show at ”Overgaden” house of contemporary art, in Copenhagen, and spam-mailed to as many people as possible during the show ”work, work work” in the winter 2006. The answers were many, and varied, from just as selfrighteous as myself, to ironic and joking, to encouraging and apologizing.

The following letters were delivered door to door in the local area of a show at ”Overgaden” house of contemporary art, (publicly funded) in Copenhagen, and spam-mailed to as many people as possible during the show ”work, work work” in the winter 2006. The answers were many, and varied, from just as selfrighteous as myself, to ironic and joking, to encouraging and apologizing.

(scroll down for the original danish text)

Letter #1
Christianshavn. 16.01.06


I would like to direct your attention to the unfortunate tendency, that people do not come to see my shows. I don’t think that it is just my personal problem, and I know of several of my colleagues who are experiencing the same thing.

Now, once again, I have to try, directly and personally to contact each and everyone of you. I mean, when you think about it, it should really not be that hard. Seing that I am only one person, and that I must now contact all of you one by one, it would have been much cheaper, better and more efficient if each and everyone of you made the little effort it takes to come over, all by yourself. After all that is what shows are for- For artists to say something to oere people than they know personally without having to say the same thing a million times. As it is now, I feel that I am wasting valuable time that could have been spent on making better art.

As a matter of fact I also think it is weird that you don’t come when, thinking of it, you actually paid for it yourself somehow. I mean, not that it is a lot of money, but it just seems crazy, like maintaining a national church that no-one uses, just to make sure that there is some spirituality left in society. Imagine a society that stored loads and loads of spirit without having the energy to practise it. No one would accept that I think! (In Denmark we have a publicly funded state church)

It is not the first time this has happened. If things stay this way, I may consider stopping completely. Then it will be interesting to see if you can do it better by yourself!

Well. Now I have this show at “overgaden”. It opens this sunday, the 21st of January. I think you should come this time.


Ulla Hvejsel/ Artist

The adress for the show is :
Overgaden neden Vandet 17 • DK-1414 København K • +45 32 57 7273

Letter # 2
Christianshavn. 02.01.06

Hello again

I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago about this show at Overgaden.

It is possible that i was a bit harsh in my critique, I am sorry about that. It is just so frustrating to be in a trade where there is no visible evidence of appreciation of the work I do. I guess I would like to have some friendly acclaim for my work, just occasionally. It is like discovering that the one sport you are good at is not recognized by the olympic comittee.

Obviously, you should only come if you find that it is in some way worth the trip. but I think it would be fair of you, if you, just for a moment will look past your own immediate idea of what you like and do not like. That is the least you can do after all the work I have done because I thought you would agree with me, that it could be fun if I showed you what it is I do.


Ulla Hvejsel, Artist

The address of the show is still
Overgaden neden Vandet 17 • DK-1414 København K • +45 32 57 7273

Letter #3

Christianshavn. 20.02.06

Hi, it is me again.

About this show at Overgaden. I do not want to mention any names, but I have noticed that there is still some of you who haven’t been to see it yet. I know that some of you probably have reasonable excuses, and I don’t want to judge you, but I hope that you will find some last minute time to see it.

The show closes down this coming Sunday.

Ulla Hvejsel, Artist

Overgaden neden Vandet 17 • DK-1414 København K • +45 32 57 72 73


Følgende brev blev husstandsomdelt omkring ”Overgaden” og mailet til så mange som muligt  i forbindelse med udstillingen ”Arbejde arbejde arbejde” i vinteren 2006. 

Brev 1:

Christianshavn. 16.01.06

Jeg synes der er en uheldig tendens til at folk ikke kommer til mine udstillinger. Jeg tror ikke bare det er mig, jeg ved at flere af mine kolleger har oplevet det samme.

Nu må jeg så igen forsøge, direkte og personligt at kontakte hver enkelt af jer. Når man tænker over det, så burde det altså ikke være så svært. I forhold til at jeg, som kun er en, nu bliver nødt til selv at kontakte hver enkelt af jer, så ville det være både billigere, smartere og mere effektivt hvis i hver især gjorde jer den ret overkommelige anstrengelse at komme af jer selv. Det er jo derfor man har opfundet udstillinger. For at man på en overskuelig måde kan sige noget til flere mennesker end dem, man lige har i sin egen bekendtskabskreds. Som det er nu, føler jeg lidt, at jeg spilder tid, der kunne være brugt på at lave nogle bedre værker.

Det er også bare underligt at I ikke kommer når man tænker på, at I faktisk selv i en eller anden forstand har betalt for det. Ja altså ikke fordi det er alverden, men det virker jo forrykt, at I så ikke bruger det til noget. Det svarer vel til at holde en kirke som man alligevel ikke benytter sig af, sådan bare for at bevare noget åndelighed. Forestil jer et helt samfund der opbevarede ånd uden at gide at praktisere den. Det vil ingen vel kunne acceptere.

Det er jo ikke bare en gang det her er sket. Jeg har det sådan nu, at hvis det bliver ved på den måde så kan det godt være, at jeg helt lader være. Så må I jo se om I kan gøre det bedre selv!

Nu har jeg en udstilling på noget der hedder Overgaden. Den starter Lørdag d. 21. Januar. Jeg synes I skal komme den her gang.

Med venlig hilsen
Ulla Hvejsel

Adressen på udstillingen er:
Overgaden neden Vandet 17 • DK-1414 København K • +45 32 57 7273