Ceremony at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen
For 123 years the artists of Den Frie Exhibition have had the will on the basis of art’s conditions to discuss Den Frie’s Exhibition’s pos- sibilities to encompass the dynamic and the movements that have passed through society through these many years. It is the essence of art in itself, the recognition of art, the role of art in its time, and art that develops new images for new realities.
It has created disputes, alliances, discussions on structures and new members, and many more or less successful experiments with form and content tested through time. It has seldom been boring – and we haven’t been standing still.
Through the 90’s there was a consistent discussion on whether the fellowship’s idea was at all relevant in a digitalized global world where art communicates freely across continents. And with the conceptualism and minimalism of the 60’s in mind, it was truly a lot of work to define that this room, on this spot, in this time, holds qualities that provide art with a house that can develop something unique for the people that gather here around art. It is crucial that there must be a house on art’s terms outside the market and the state.
Today is yet another step on the journey that began in 1891 as a fellowship and with this house in 1914, which no one knows where will end. Yet again we are expanding Den Frie Exhibition’s space in order for us to grasp that which time holds, and more practically new curators and interns, school service, an open archive, study spaces, and a new exhibition room. Especially by Malene’s but also by Kirse and Kit’s and the board’s and other employees great effort, funds have been acquired by the A.P. Møller Foundation, and our pertinacious, imaginative, inspiring architect Bente Lange has out of the given stipulations created a very fine setting.