"Today, we go to great lengths to be special and unique in the digital realm, on our Facebook, Tik-Tok and Instagram profiles. And yet, more and more people now choose to be buried anonymously. The culture of remembrance, which burial sites often represent, has become a kind of ‘culture of oblivion’.
The question of artworks and grave monuments found in the public space of graveyards are seldom cause for discussion. There appears to be a certain reluctance to broach the subject even though it will inevitably become relevant to everyone at some point in life.
Accordingly, the exhibition Gravmonumenter (Eng. Grave Monuments) should simply be seen as a constructive contribution to an ongoing debate. The exhibition offers a range of inspirational takes on how we, as citizens and as a society, can incorporate contemporary art in more ways in public spaces and in everyday life in general – including in connection with deaths. There is no single ‘right’ way to experience art, but many. Works of art and monuments can be enjoyed and prompt reflection in museums, parks, hospitals, roundabouts – and graveyards, too",
Jacob Fabricius, Artistic Director of Kunsthal Aarhus
The idea behind the project and the exhibition Gravmonumenter focuses on the overall conversation about how we want to be remembered. At the exhibition Gravmonumenter, visitors will find contemporary artists from Denmark and abroad offering their takes on artistically innovative grave monuments, presenting their ideas as sketches or models.
Gravmonumenter began as a competition launched by Jacob Fabricius, in which artists were invited to explore what could be done with a Danish standard burial plot measuring 2 x 3 metres.
In December 2020, all submissions for the Gravmonumenter competition were put before an international panel of judges, consisting of Tom Eccles (Executive Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York), Jacob Fabricius (Artistic Director, Kunsthal Aarhus), Haeju Kim (Deputy Director , Art Sonje Center, Seoul), Lars Gustav Lindhardt (priest, Frederiksberg parish) and Ulrikke Neergaard (Director, KØS Museum, Køge). The judges selected their favourites and awarded them points, creating a shortlist of twelve proposals. It was a close race, but on December 24, 2020, the final winner of the competition was found.
The winner was David Robbins with HE MADE SOME GOOD POINTS. The intention is to have David Robbins’s grave monument erected in a Danish graveyard. Until then, visitors can now explore all the various poetic, humorous, absurd and political takes on contemporary grave monuments in Kunsthal Aarhus.