Action and Remains

Action and Remains

Kunsthal Charlottenborg

Arthur Køpcke and Al Hansen
in ”Music while you work” at Galerie Block, Berlin 1970
Photo: Hermann Kiessling

June 25, 2008

Al Hansen & Arthur Køpcke
Action and Remains
21.06.08 – 24.08.08

”One puts its parts together in the manner of making a collage” – Al Hansen on happenings

“Any communication is a collage of variegated signals.” – Arthur Køpcke

Kunsthal Charlottenborg will be brimming with collages, assemblages, film, sound, painting and sculpture when works by Al Hansen and Arthur Køpcke are shown in separate wings of the gallery.

Action and Remains is the title of the double exhibition. ‘Action’ because both artists worked with actions, performances and works that in various ways encouraged active participation from the viewer. ‘Remains’ because what is left are the remains of these projects, performances and actions, but also because both of them employed the debris of the everyday in their production.

Al Hansen and Arthur Køpcke shared era, colleagues and zeitgeist. They brought international currents to Denmark at a time when the Danish art scene felt far removed from the metropolises in Europe and the US, both physically and mentally. Both artists had an unpretentious and casual relationship with the audience, encouraging active participation – and thus helped create the bedrock of our contemporary art’s cross-medial works as well as interventions, performances and social design.

An American, Al Hansen (1927-1995) primarily worked in New York but being an inveterate nomad he spent long periods of time in Denmark, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. A seminal figure in the Fluxus network, he if any dissolved the boundaries between the life he led and the art he created. Hansen was Fluxus – always on the move and always with the materials for his works at hand. His works are a humorous and intelligent conglomerate of neo-Dada, Fluxus and pop art.

Arthur Køpcke (1928 – 1977) was German, married a Dane and settled in Copenhagen. For half a decade, until 1963, he ran Galerie Køpcke in the city which, nourished by his radical innovation and driving force – became the centre of European avant-garde. Here came Robert Filliou, Diter Rot, Jean Tinguely, Daniel Spoerri, Piero Manzoni and others, and from the domestic art scene Albert Mertz, Gunnar Aagaard Andersen, Preben Hornung and others. An impressive array of exhibitions was presented at Galerie Køpcke but it was also a significant stomping ground for an alternative art practice that bloomed on the Fluxus scene in Copenhagen as well as abroad.

The Al Hansen exhibition is concentrated on the works he ‘left’ in Denmark, supplemented by works from two pivotal collections in New York and Berlin. Curator is Maria Gadegaard, Kunsthal Charlottenborg.

The Arthur Køpcke exhibition is the most comprehensive one of its kind to date, comprising works from more than forty collectors and six institutions in Denmark and Germany. Curators are artist Claus Carstensen and Helle Bøgelund, Kunsthal Charlottenborg.

A bilingual catalogue has been produced for the exhibition, containing 300 pages with colour photographs of all the exhibited works, texts on the artists and their time as well as a list of works and CV’s. The writers are Helle Bøgelund, Maria Gadegaard, Simon Anderson, Morten Søndergaard, Claus Carstensen and
Marianne Bech.

The photographs are taken by Anders Sune Berg, and the graphic design is by Rasmus Koch Studio.

The first day of the exhibition is Saturday 21 June, 12-17. The last day Sunday 24 August 2008.

For additional information contact Maria LaBelle at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, tel. +45 3336 9047 or e-mail:

New opening hours over the summer: Tuesday to Sunday, 12-17.

Press pictures can be downloaded at

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Kunsthal Charlottenborg
June 25, 2008

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