The massacre of Tiananmen Square marked on a Danish highway
In Denmark, the most progressive highway sign (3x3 m) was set up in April at the E20 exit by Odense. It is the Danish artist Jens Galschiøt who has designed the sign, which also points towards his gallery.
On the sign, everyone is exposed to the artistic razor: China's attempt to erase the massacre of their own students in 1989, the Catholic Church's absurd contraception ban, the US's denial of climate change, the extreme double standards and arrogance of the Western world, the retreat of the Europeans from humanism, men and women’s roles in a queer time, and the powerlessness of the climate negotiations.
The artist says: "I am happy to live in a country where one can see the value in art about social criticism, as well as have it on an official Danish highway, and on the hometown of Danish poet Hans Christians Andersen also, who even used his adventures to put focus on the absurdity of society. Art must be used to create new insights into the world, and that is the kind of art that is on the sign”.
The signage cost about 50.000 euros. Galschiøt has got them with the help of art crowdfunding, for which he made a series of unique sculptures that were sold specifically to finance the signage. Within 14 days the sculptures were sold and the signage paid.
The sign captures Galschiøt’s entire universe of images and tells in the best way what you can experience by visiting Galleri Galschiøt. It shows the artist's seven most famous and controversial art-happenings, pictured in silhouette on the big motorway sign. They have each attracted a great deal of attention both nationally and internationally, and the works are included in countless newspapers, websites and books. The artist has thus been blacklisted permanently in China and deported from both Hong Kong and Mexico for the erection of the large pillar sculpture that appears in the centre of the sign.
Jens Galschiøt tells about the sign: I am especially pleased that the Chinese Pillar of Shame is on the sign, because it is the only memorial on Chinese soil (Hong Kong) that marks and commemorates the massacre of the students at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.
This year, it is exactly 30 years since the massacre took place and the Chinese system is trying to eradicate the memory of the atrocity by all means. So I think it is great to get the picture of this particular sculpture on the sign, to commemorate and rehabilitate the brave Chinese students who had to lay down their lives in 1989.
At the foot of the sculpture is a beautiful Chinese calligraphy that reads "the nation's trauma". Now the sign will be on the highway for the next 20 years and almost a billion cars will pass by it, and perhaps the passengers will send the Chinese students a loving thought and thus help remember this part of history.
The 7 sculptures depicted in the sign are all cut out as in silhouette and are quite recognizable if you have seen the sculptures before, but can be difficult to decode if you do not know Galschiøt’s works, but then there is little for the brain to work with. You can see the individual sculptures’ elements on the signs in the table below.
Galschiøt quote: I’m dreaming that electric vehicles of the future are driving past the sign, looking at the iconic sculptures, thinking: was China really a dictatorship once? – Did we use our civic rights to pollute the planet instead of taking care of it? – Were we so arrogant that we imagined that we could retain our humanism without sharing our wealth? – Did the more than 1 billion members of the Catholic Church have a ban on contraception and female priests? – And did we really believe that only 2 sexes existed, male and female and nothing in between? This would be fantastic, but unfortunately it would just be a dream. Many of the sculptures on the sign are more than 20 years old and at least as relevant as when I made them.
The reason why Galschiøt was found worthy of the 3x3 meter large sign is that his 10,000 m2 large area of galleries, working workshops, art schools and the sculpture park, is a very popular attraction in Denmark. On a daily basis, more than 100,000 cars will pass a sign pointing in the direction of our gallery.
In the table below, all the sculptures are depicted both in silhouette and in their original form with a text explaining what the works are for.
Loving spring greetings
The gallerists at the gallery Galschiot
Information / videos and photos are freely available on our webpage:
Contact Jens Galschiøt and Galleri Galschiøt: firstname.lastname@example.org - tel. 0045 66184058 or 0045 40447058
Contact Honkkong: phone number is 852-27826111 Hong Kong Alliance
The sculptures on the sign from the left:
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5270 Odense N
Ph. DK: (+45) 6618 4058
Ph. Kassel (+45) 6170 3083
Fax:(+45) 6618 4158
About Jens Galschiøt:
General information about Galschiøt can be found at:
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