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Press Release

This World We Must Leave - An Idea of Revolution
By Mikkel Bolt and Jakob Jakobsen
Exhibition Aarhus Kunstbygning 19.11.10-9.1.11

Over the last ten years Denmark has witnessed a profound transformation of the political landscape. Previously, there was a small room for political debate and discussion, but over a short time it has become commonplace and acceptable to exclude a whole range of alternative ideas and expressions that do not merge easily with the prevailing order of prosperity and "white happiness'.

The public sphere is today marked by ritual flogging of alternative political positions, and the smallest flirtation with radical collectivist ideas can create problems, as we see it with the fool and member of parliament Ole Sohn, who was exposed in the media as a former communist (the idea of communism fits very poorly with his unconditioned support for the state capitalist party dictatorships such as DDR and USSR), or what has made it necessary for national radio journalist Jens Nauntofte to reject his former support for the Vietnamese resistance against American imperialism in the 1970s - a struggle of resistance that was entirely legitimate and backed by large segments of the population in Denmark at the time.

The intent of the hysterical McCarthyism that is prevailing in the media is crystal clear: to prevent any alternative ideas or dreams of another life. The political horizon is controlled and monitored. The intention is to maintain and defend an image that confirms everything that we already have. For "there is nothing to come after" as stated by the former Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

It has become a security problem if there is anyone who is considering living their lives in a different way, or is dissatisfied with the way things are put together. Anything alien is therefore presented as a threat. The politics of fear is making sure that the active production of uncertainty is kept going. This legitimizes the behaviour of the state that criminalizes previously legal protest forms keeps giving the police a longer and longer leash. Today control and repression is the health of the state.

With the exhibition This World We Must Leave art historian Mikkel Bolt and visual artist Jakob Jakobsen are attempting to kick a hole in the clogged parody of a public sphere, as they examine the desire for something else, a revolution in which capitalism and its addictive structures are smashed.

The exhibition is a total installation that stages a revolutionary archive and three short films, which describes a passage from alienation to revolution. The three films represent a step out of the oppressive capitalist society and into the revolutionary rupture. The moment a break occurs, and things suddenly become the object of active transformation. The moment where it suddenly becomes possible to do things in a completely different way. Where it becomes possible to share the sensual in new ways and modify the conditions of life through other forms of desire than those the spectacular commodity society produce and satisfy.


MIKKEL BOLT RASMUSSEN is an art historian and writer. He teaches at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, Copenhagen University. He has published a number of books most recently Avantgardens selvmord (2009) and has published numerous articles on activism, the avant-garde, contemporary philosophy, the revolutionary tradition and totalitarianism in books and journals like Multitudes, Rethinking Marxism and Third Text. He is an editor of K&K and Øjeblikket and has edited several books including Totalitarian Art and Modernity (2010). Together with Jakob Jakobsen he has organised a series of seminars about Situationism, militancy and image politics in the People’s House in Copenhagen.

JAKOB JAKOBSEN is a politically engaged artist, teacher and activist. He ran the Copenhagen Free University from 2001 to 2007 (, cofounded the artist run TV station tv-tv in 2004, and has participated in exhibitions all over the world including at Wattis Institute, San Francisco; Stedhalle, Zürich; Insa Art Space, Seoul; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; München Kunstverein, Munich; Wiener Secession, Vienna; Louisiana, Humlebæk, et al. In 2010 he made the exhibition Billed Politik at Overgaden - Institute of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen (