During the 80’s all the major industries discontinued their factories in Copenhagen. Huge buildings in central Copenhagen were empty, just waiting for prospectors to tear them down and build the 90’s steel and glass towers for financial enterprise. Several of the contractors who were handling the enormous building projects, was the kind of old school entrepreneurs, who thought that it would be a good thing if people – even including artists – used the abandoned buildings until the demolition. KDB was offered an enormous building in the old B&W ship factory in Christianshavn. The space was approx. 90 meters long, 30 meters wide and 25 meters to the ceiling. We had that space 7 months in 1989. We also had a smaller space, 1000 square meters, that we kept as a workshop for a couple of years. Serious art sponsorship!

So we made a performance installation for the venue, taking advantage of what we had; lots of space, lots of time. We(Steen Madsen) got some support from The Theater Council and from then city, for production. And lots of people joined us , volunteers, no one got proper wages. But we made a deal with the “Cult Cook” Henning Havn to come and feed us. He set up kitchen in the workshop. Every night he served great food to who ever was there. In the summer nights the food was served on long tables by the Harbour. White tablecloths, huge silver candelabras, 40 unwashed artists…Very beautiful.

The performance started with the audience being led into a dark, small(300 sq meters) space, where sand was softly falling from the ceiling in a fine line, illuminated by a single spotlight. The sand fell onto a pile of something, the pile began to move, grow, stand up. Behind it 5 tall crimson figures were sitting along the back wall. The wall fell down and opened into the vastness of the space, where people ran around carrying long white banners that was on fire, leaving trails of embers. The crimson five, moved backwards into the space. They were sitting on high poles mounted on cars that now drove of. The public was free to explore the installation. Sculptures of timber and plaster. Many parts were casts from people in the group, with machinery built in so they would be endlessly moving, chewing or waving or… In some of the sculptures we had built in real people who were moving around

More text soon!

All Photos – copyright 1989 Steen Madsen



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