Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg

Kong Christians Allé 50
9000 Aalborg

Phone: +45 99 82 41 00
CVR: 47 21 82 68


Danske Bank

Regnr.: 4368 Kontonr.: 13534926


Open: Was Asger Jorn an Activist?

An evening about Jorn, art and private property

Why did Asger Jorn paint on the walls in houses where he came? And what does that tell us about the value of art today? Kunsten’s new live public program Open has now started and invites the public into the co-creation of a public art work, when Katleen Vermeir and Ronny Heiremans, enact a “lecture performance” about art, private property and collective enthusiasm. The “Common-room” of the museum will be transformed into an interactive stage consisting of objects and documents from the archive, as well as projected images from the artistic experiment 7 Walks, a public trip to the Arnakkekilden source and the Jorn Museum in the historic spa town Silkeborg, where Jorn spent 18 months in a sanatorium. The project is a collaboration with the Aalborg based platform for contemporary art F.eks.

The event is part of Kunsten’s Open program and a collaboration with the Aalborg based art platform F.eks.



During the past two weeks Vermeir & Heiremans have investigated traces from Asger Jorn in Kunsten’s archive, on Læsø where Jorn had a property, in Aarhus and in Silkeborg to which Jorn donated a very large gift of art works. Wherever Jorn came he tried to bring together life and art. According to Jorn, the physical buildings of everyday life – the places where people’s common life is lived, where people gather, celebrate and debate – were not separate from art. To Jorn art was enthusiasm, a collective energy that could revolutionize society. This collective energy was to pervade everyday life. Vermeir & Heiremans’ performance in the Common-room will offer the audience a lecture performance that will link all of these narratives to the contemporary. Today, just as in the days of Jorn, art is entangled in private property relations and sold as a commodity on the market. And today, just as in the days of Jorn, visionary ideas about what art can do to transform society, are being put forward. Thus, it is still highly debatable, what is the values of art practices in a present-day context. In Was Asger Jorn an Activist? the questions of art’s value and how this is governed through property legislation will be activated in a live-performance in which you as an audience take part in creating the outcome. 


About Open

Open is a new multi-disciplinary platform for research, experimentation and civic engagement at Kunsten. Open embraces artistic forms of interrogating the world, it articulates questions and initiates collaborations with various actors and inhabitants in Aalborg and beyond. The format of Open is process-driven, it interweaves artistic research, conversations, lectures, performances, screenings and workshops. This initiative thus sets out to learn more about how process-driven, collective knowledge production can become an integral part of museum practice. It seeks to position the museum as an active agent in connecting to contemporary life in Aalborg. Open is part of a three-year postdoctoral research project and funded by New Carlsberg Foundation. 


Photo credits

– Casa Museo Jorn, Asger Jorn’s former studio and house in Albisola Marina, Italy. Photograph Vermeir & Heiremans.
– Documentation of Asger Jorn's house and studio property on Læsø, 2020. Photograph Rikke Ehlers Nilsson.


Feb 19th 2020, 5:30pm to 8:30pm

Praktisk information

Entrance: Free for this special event. Visitors who want to visit exhibitions needs to pay entrance fee.

Language: Danish and English