- 13.000.000. human lifes
The background of the happening
Structure of the happening
The aim of the happening
The symbols of the happening
AIDOH & N.G.O.
Artists groups & info
Review of the happening
Update on the progress of the happening, about peoples reaction
Introduction to happening, general description
In my work with sculpture and happenings I place a question mark on where our ethical
and moral responsibility is going. The answer is up to the spectator; I create surreal
pictures of reality - symbolically formed questions - which show the grotesque and absurd
in what we normally understand as conventional reality.
The happening's form I have found a very suitable common language with the help of
nonverbal symbols create the possibility for people to see and acknowledge the complicated
problems comparatively on several levels, and as such can be accepted in conventional
rules of what you may or may not do. But my message is not in opposition to most other
artist's in fact breaking boundaries in traditional artistic sense. On the contrary you
may call them 'preserving'.
They give a reasonable question mark to what consequence it will have on our culture, when
we are witnesses to the racist tendencies in Europe grow.
The global UN-Summit will be held in Copenhagen from the 6th to the 12th of March 1995.
The purpose of the summit is to discuss the world's social development. A declaration
shall be drawn so that all countries can be in agreement, the following up so that all
countries can be in agreement, the following three areas will be covered:
- the fight against poverty.
- Increased employment
- Increased social integration.
About 10.000 are expected to participate in the summit, with many government leaders
including. To run parallel with the summit, 10.000 representatives from the world's
non-state and humanity organizations. The so called N.G.O. organizations, meet at Holmen
in Copenhagen for an alternative summit - N.G.O. forum 95'. N.G.O.- forum will draw up an
alternative Copenhagen-declaration and their presence will put pressure on the official
conference to take decisions. The humanitarian organizations can give there opinions for a
These two gigantic events mean that the whole world attention in these weeks summit will
be directed to the globes social question - and to Copenhagen.
Every other second a child dies of hunger or lack of medicine. What all these children
have in common is that the most are colored and live in the worlds poorest countries. In
this weeks summit there will be 210.000 children's deaths. In our part of the world we
just accept this.
I'm unagreeable to this. When I decided to carry out my next Happening at the U.N.
Summit from the 6th to the 12th of march 1995, it is not just because of a wish to
visualize the global imbalance.
It is my intention to make the top officials not forget why they are gathered. It
also my wish that the soft seats, the tidbits, the red carpet, and "wonderful
Copenhagen's" as a media event, a glossy promotion of Copenhagen as a very suitable
place to hold a conference in, will not forget our responsibility and capability to deal
with the problems of the Third World. Try to imagine how it smells in Rwanda's refugee
camps, how it feel when the cold of the night penetrates through the cardboard which is a
street child's bed in Lima or Rio, or how you feel as a mother or father, when you have
buried three children in a row, because there was no food for them to survive.
750 child figures, and 13.000.000 "Bank notes".
750 child figures with the form of three to nine year old children with arms stretched
over their heads, locked tight onto lamp posts, signs, benches, fences etc. on the 6ïth
of march, in the center of Copenhagen. On the 12ïth of march the summits declarations
will be finally signed. The child figures are collected and laid in a large stack.
The child figures will clearly show the unbearable likeness of a dead child.
This means that the summit has happened in a city where parts of the street picture are
dominated of symbolic dying children. The 750 children are made by sewing a child's
silhouette in canvas and afterwards, filled with 20 tons ( crushed brick the color of red
sand used normally on tennis courts). These figures will be a type of floppy doll with the
large resemblance to dead people.
there will be produced 13 million "bank notes" each one being the value of
humans life in 1995. The bank notes are in the form of monopoly bank notes and have
different motives printed, that have relation to the crooked distribution of the worlds
wealth, primarily in the form of drawings of starving children. Over this will be printed
a caption describing the worlds, disparity. For example the developed world has 25% of the
earth's population, but owns 85% of the worlds economy. In addition there is a request not
to throw the bank notes away, and also a smaller caption to explain the happening. The
bank notes are printed in Danish on one side and English on the other, with my E-mail
address and my fax number.
For the background is pictured some of the worlds strongest currencies.
The bank notes are distributed throughout the week in the schools of Copenhagen, where
at the same time we have asked the teachers to discuss the worlds social problems with the
children, at the institutions, in churches, museums, in businesses, places of work, and of
course the places concerning the conference.
The bank notes are given out in buildings (not in the street). For example it is obvious
to give out bank notes in special places e.g. -Tivoli. There are 60 different types of
bank notes, so it becomes a challenge to collect them. This will make people more
interested in looking closely at the bank notes they receive.
The 13.000.000 bank notes represent a life, that has vanished in the unjustifiable
distribution of the worlds economy in 1995. The distribution of the bank notes means that
Copenhagen in a very discrete way, will be dominated by the most innocent victims of the
way we have chosen to organize the world.
The aim of the Happening.
I wish to break the barriers between the rich and the poor world for a short period, to
confront the people on the street with the picture of the third worlds dying children.
This sudden manifestation of reality, I believe, will get a good part of the population to
participate in the debate on how we organize the world. And at the same time the Happening
shall be a signal to the third world that some are concerned, and place a question mark on
how the world is organized.
The happening shall show the problems:
That the rich western world's ethical and religious
discussions about life being sacred (e.g. the discussions of abortion) go on in the same
world where millions of people die as a result of lack of the most basic nesseseties
life. You might get the thought that only life of the rich ones is sacred.
That the planet as a result of improved systems of
communication and transport has become so "small" that it is about to develop
into one unit which contains so colossal contrasts that it risks to be ruined by internal
That the west, instead of the Berlin-wall that should
have divided the the red and white, is about to build a new "Berlin-wall" this
time to keep the poor out of the rich world.
that the summit's decisions-making, in reality
influences how many people will die. In other words that it is a choice we make when we
let some be rich and others poor.
After the summit the "banknotes" have been distributed in many places, the
child figures have been placed in a stack as a symbol of yet another conference, but
maintain the urgent question:
If we in the rich world are willing to radically change the organization of the world in
order to make it more just.
The symbolic of the Happening is in this way expressed on more levels:
That the child figures are dark symbolize that it is
principally coloured children that die.
"bank-notes" that signify human life, are given out in the city, symbolizing
that a human life belonging to a poor child of an undeveloped country, might not be worth
more than the easily dissolvable paper which the "bank-note" is made of. that we
treat life life whit the same off-hand manner, with which we will sweep up the notes and
throw them away.
750 "dead" children that are suddenly
hanging, in the center of a wealthy European city, will symbolize the danger, that the
globe will experience destroying conflicts because of the unfair conditions that two
thirds of the world live under.
As the happenings are being carried out, we have created a group that will represent
the happening at the N.G.O - conference, (the alternative part of the official summit)
What we are doing during the UN. Happening, is partly to establish AIDOH (Art in defense
of humanism), a network we will later use in connections with " the Pillar of Shame - the happening".
Here is a more detailed description of these activities.
The creation of an international network, that at first shall be used to carry out Jens
Galschiøt Christophersen's next happening "
the Pillar of Shame ". " the Pillar
of Shame " shall be chosen on the basics of individual events, and only a maximum
of 3 times yearly so not to devalue the happening meaning. The placing will occur
relatively quickly after the event, and so it is therefore necessary to have a global
network of people, that will help and support the happening.
The creation of a card index:
Activists that will help with organizing, translations, transport, setting up
and production of " the Pillar of Shame "
Press and lobby people that are interested in getting information and can
support the happening both officially and unofficially.
Economic support this means to project relevant support with sponsoring,
transport or to buy a "support sculpture" or direct contribution.
This network can be used in the future be to support other art activists, but in the
first instant people can give there written support for the Pillar of Shame happening. Possible addresses can be given out,
after written application from each person in the network.
Registration of artists who make or wish to make activities, where they use their art
to support humanity in the world. This can be in all areas; literature, sculpture,
paintings, film music, dance etc., and the methods can be completely different. The
registration shall be used to inform, support and inspire each others and to network with
There will be a possibility for different artists, to have their exhibition and
information areas in the computer. If you want to have an "electronic exhibition"
in AIDOH's host, send us an E-mail about your work, and well answer you, within the
next 10 days.
A list of sponsors
The economy of the happening