OPEN TODAY 10 - 17
Under the patronage of
Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II

Monica Bonvicini , No More 1, 2016, (c ) Monica Bonvicini And VG Bild -Kunst , Photo Jens Ziehe , Courtesy The Artist

Monica Bonvicini, No More #1, 2016, (c) Monica Bonvicini and VG Bild-Kunst. Photo Jens Ziehe, courtesy the artist

Press release may 2019

29.05.19 – 08.09.19

Art & Porn

Art & Porn marks the 50th anniversary of the legalisation of visual pornography and shows how the relationship between pornography and art has developed over the past five decades. The exhibition is the result of a close collaboration between ARoS and Kunsthal Charlottenborg.

The ban on visual pornography in Denmark was lifted on 1 July 1969. The legalisation sparked off a tsunami of images which we, for better or worse, have been inundated with ever since. One of the questions that the Art & Porn exhibition raises is this: What are the implications of suddenly stretching the boundaries of what citizens may lawfully experience in public spaces?

- Much has happened since visual pornography was legalised 50 years ago, but many taboos concerning sex and pornography still survive today. Our society is permeated with sex,

diffused through such channels as advertising and reality TV, and yet accompanied by a fervent quest for sexual identity. This is a complex reality where art can serve as a catalyst for addressing a difficult subject, says Erlend G. Høyersten, museum director, ARoS. 

 - The exhibition traces the impact of the amendment of pornography laws on art and changing social norms. What does it entail, for instance, when international social media giants such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram challenge the liberal Danish legislation, censoring both art and pornography, says Michael Thouber, director of Kunsthal Charlottenborg.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION – IT ALL STARTED IN 1936

Art & Porn is a large group exhibition boasting the participation of 40 Danish and international artists. It highlights the relationship between art and pornography, offering visitors an opportunity to consider and discuss sexuality and open-mindedness. There are numerous ways of experiencing and interpreting the exhibition with its many parallel narratives. It is based on a number of themes that revolve around the historical development and the cascade of events that have occurred from the lifting of the ban in 1969 to the present day. The complex relationship between sex, pornography, art and society is the leitmotif of the exhibition. 

The keynote of the exhibition is struck by Wilhelm Freddie’s (1909–1995) famous work Sex-paralysappeal from 1936. The work illustrates the awkwardness that characterised the general attitude to sexual and erotic images at the time. Freddie was far ahead of his time, for the work was soon seized and the artist given a mitigated sentence for pornography. 30 years later Wilhelm Freddie made a new version of the piece, and despite the fact that it was again confiscated, the debate that followed led to Denmark becoming the first country in the world to raise the ban on visual pornography. 

- The story of Freddie’s two versions of Sex-paralysappeal is an excellent example of how art may help to challenge and push social boundaries and ultimately influence legislation. For that reason we are delighted to be able to present both versions of the artwork in the exhibition, says Rasmus Stenbakken, curator, ARoS.

The story of the legalisation of pornography is the story of the whole of Denmark, and it was instrumental in spreading the fame of Danish tolerance and open-mindedness throughout the world. It is also the background for the first collaboration so far between ARoS and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, thus allowing the Art & Porn exhibition to be staged in various parts of the country. 

The exhibition will subsequently be shown at Kunsthal Charlottenborg from 5 October 2019 to 12 January 2020.

Curator-in-charge: Rasmus Christian Stenbakken, curator, ARoS.

For further information, please contact:

Rasmus Christian Stenbakken, curator-in-charge:
rcs@aros.dk  / +45 2856 3485

Press and Communications:
Anne Riis: ari@aros.dk / +45 2888 4464
Jens Henrik Daugaard: jehd@aros.dk / +45 2888 4467

Press photos may be downloaded free of charge from Dropbox when citing the name of the photographer.

NK_986_h _Freddie , Wilhelm

Wilhelm Freddie, Sex-Paralysappeal, 1936, Kunsten Museum of Modern Art 

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

Anna Uddenberg, Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens, Amalia Ulman, Arthur Køpcke, Betty Tompkins, Biba Fibiger, Bjørn Nørgaard Og Lene Adler Petersen, Carolee Schneemann, Gaspar Noé, Cindy Sherman, Elmgreen & Dragset, Hanne Nielsen & Birgit Johnsen , Hans Henrik Lerfeldt, Jeff Burton, Jeff Koons, Jesper Fabricius, Katja Bjørn, Larry Clark, Lawrence Weiner, Linder, Lynda Benglis, Maja Malou Lyse, Marco Brambilla, Marilyn Minter, Marina Abramović, Matthew Barney, Mika Rottenberg, Mike Bouchet, Monica Bonvicini, Per Kirkeby, Peter Land, Pipilotti Rist, Ryan Mcginley, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Sarah Lucas, Simon Fujiwara, Susan Hinnum & Sarah Young, Suzette Gemzøe, Tom Of Finland, Ursula Reuter Christiansen, Valie Export, Wilhelm Freddie, William E. Jones, Wolfgang Tillmans.

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to generous financial support from:

Sparnord

Statens Kunstfond


©ARoS 2017