Guilty pleasure


Guilty because I know that lilies in October have been transported here from far away and were probably grown using all sorts of chemicals. Pleasure, because I have so many good memories associated with the scent of lilies, especially in combination with the smell of windfall apples, darker mornings, cool, moist air and winter waiting round the corner.

Let me take you for a short trip down memory lane. The year was 1987, I was 24 years old.

The conversion of a former factory complex to the culture centre Brandts Klædefabrik (Brandt’s Cloth Mill), spearheaded by architect Kristian Isager, which began in 1982, was nearly completed, and Kunsthallen Brandts Klædefabrik (Art Centre Brandts Klædefabrik) and Museet for Fotokunst (the Danish Museum of Photographic Art) had opened to the public.

I was designing and producing clothes and had a small shop in Odense. I had decided to hold my first fashion show. I wanted it to be a ‘total theatre’ experience. On a spring day, I presented my idea to the leadership of the art centre, and before the day was over, the as-yet unopened exhibition space on the second floor, ‘The Pillarless Room’, was at my disposal.

Over the coming months, I dyed, cut and sewed round the clock to finish the many outfits that my idea required. I made arrangements with models and with a really talented man who normally handled sound and lighting for concerts. Together, we created an exceptional show.

I honestly admit I had no idea what I was doing, but it was magical. It was magical to see the hall packed with an enthusiastic audience one early evening in October and to see all the elements of the performance come together. Magical, also, the many sweet-smelling bouquets, the applause and the spontaneous after-party for everyone involved.

Some events change your life forever – childbirth, love affairs, profound encounters with art. For me, my first fashion show was such a life-changing experience.
The smell of lilies in October has a direct (sentimental) link to that experience. Sustainable or not, I enjoy the scent as it spreads in my living room and sends me back down memory lane.

If you come to Odense, you should treat yourself to a visit at Brandts Klædefabrik, which is now called Kunstmuseum Brandts (Art Museum Brandts).

Until 17 April 2022, you can see ‘Ærtebjerg i Retrospekt’ (Ærtebjerg in Retrospect), the first major retrospective museum exhibition of the work of the Danish artist Kathrine Ærtebjerg (b. 1969). The exhibition is a total installation presenting Ærtebjerg’s work through painting, sculpture, audio and animation film and spanning from her early works from the early 2000s to recent pieces created specifally for the exhibition at Kunstmuseum Brandts.



PÅ DANSK


Skamfuld, fordi jeg godt ved, at liljer i oktober er transporteret hertil fra fjernere himmelstrøg og højest sandsynligt dyrket ved hjælp af alskens kemi. Nydelse, fordi jeg har så mange gode minder knyttet til duften af liljer, især når duften af liljer forekommer sammen med duften af nedfaldsæbler, begyndende mørke om morgenen, køl og fugtig luft og vinter forude.

Jeg vil tage dig med ned ad mindernes landevej. Året er 1987, jeg var 24 år gammel.

Ombygningen af fabrikskomplekset Brandts Klædefabrik, under ledelse af arkitekt Kristian Isager, som begyndte i 1982 var mere eller mindre tilendebragt og Kunsthallen Brandts Klædefabrik og Museet for Fotokunst havde slået dørene op.

Jeg designede og producerede tøj og havde en lille butik i Odense. Jeg havde besluttet at holde mit første show. Mit show skulle være et stykke totalteater. På en forårsdag præsenterede jeg min ide for kunsthallens ledelse og inden dagen var omme, havde jeg fået det endnu ikke åbnede udstillingsrum på 2. sal ”Det Søjlefri Rum” stillet til min rådighed.

Over de kommende måneder farvede, klippede og syede jeg dag og nat for at blive klar med de mange sæt tøj, som min ide krævede. Jeg entrerede med modeller og med en virkelig dygtig fyr, som var vandt til at lave lyd og lys til koncerter. Sammen skabte vi en mageløs forestilling.

Jeg indrømmer ærligt, at jeg ikke anende hvad jeg lavede, men det var magisk. Magisk var det også, da salen på en tidlig oktober aften fyldte sig til bristepunktet med begejstret publikum, magisk var det at forestillingen gik op i en højere enhed, berusende var både de mange velduftende blomsterbuketter jeg modtog under applaus og den efterfølgende spontanfest for de involverede.

Der er begivenheder som forandrer ens liv for altid, børnefødsler, kærlighedsforhold og store kunstneriske oplevelser. Mit første modeshow var sådan en livsforandrende oplevelse.