OR "DANSK JÄVLAR" ACCORDING TO BO NILSSONIn the end of each episode of Lars von Triers classic "The Kingdom" TV series, the Swedish actor Ernst Hugo Järegård (may he rest in peace) goes up on the roof of The Kingdom. The Kingdom (Riget in Danish) is Denmark's biggest hospital on the edge of Copenhagen and through his binoculars looks over at his beloved Sweden and screams "DANSK JÄVLAR". Dansk Jävlar means Danish Bastards and pretty much is head on for what the Swedes think of the kingdom of Denmark these days.
The list of issues the Swedes have with the Danes until now is a very long one. It all started back in the days when Christian "The Good" II went to Stockholm and produced the huge drama in The Bloodbath of Stockholm. Basically he chopped the head off anyone that did not like him. After that the Swedes called him Christian "The Tyrant" II.
A while after that Sweden broke loose from Denmark and became the bigger country with hardworking people who's drinking habits became regulated by the government because there was just to many accidents in the growing industrial nation.
Meanwhile in Denmark, drinking was rather open and the brewery that made most money out of the Danes drinking habits, donated large amounts of money to the arts, by for example building "Glyptoteket" exhibiting classical art, street art by names like Zevs and Egyptian mummies. While Denmark was occupied by Hitler during the 2nd World War, the Swedes were neutral supporting him with huge amounts of iron for building weapons from their great mines in the north. The Swedish producer of bombs, made his own healing project by creating the Nobel Prize.
A Swedish Tiger
Then came many years of rather good times between the peaceful countries and they both flourished in their own ways. The Swedes loved going to the happy go lucky little Kingdom of Denmark to get drunk and buy cheap food and alcohol with their stronger currency. The Danes could really care less about Sweden, because when the Danes leave their Kingdom, they would rather go south to get some sun, than going north to get even colder and being around the Swedes.
Sweden has always been a little better than Denmark and the Swedes truly feel this. The Danes have a bit of a little brother complex, and it has only gotten worse lately when Swedish music, fashion, young film and literature have surpassed them by far.
The world changed Post 911, and so did Denmark. The country that used to be so cozy and "hyggeligt" was not so cute anymore. The very overly political correct Swedes cringe over what goes on in the kingdom these days. Not that they don't have problems with their immigrants and such, but at least they don't air their dirty laundry the way the Danes do. They are just to well behaved to do that. And then there was the crazy Danish soccer fan who attacked the referee during a game between Denmark and Sweden with 10 beers in his body, that cemented the Swedes perspective on the Danes.
The former art critic and current director of the Danish Royal Exhibition Space Charlottenborg Bo Nilsson, does not only have the same dialect as Ernst Hugo Järegård, he also has a slight resemblance to him. In his first exhibition at Charlottenborg, he exhibited the usual suspects of the current Danish art scene. However, one might wonder if he while being the Big Cheese at the Danish Royal Exhibition Space, exhibiting what these silly Danes call art..that he every night after a hectic day with the union-declared coffee and smoke breaks every 60 minutes, goes up on the roof and looks over to his beloved Sweden and
screams "Dansk Jävlar!".
Is he just exhibiting them as fools?
Is he pulling an "Entarte Kunst" move on the Danes, ridiculing their national treasures saying: Look at this crap! This is what they call contemporary art in this stupid little country.
Footnote: many things has happened in the Danish Art World since this was written. Please for example take not of another Art Scandal in Denmark - ART WASH IN THE COPENHAGEN ART WORLD