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The Paradox Of Art And Artist Explored In An Exhibition Of Unmade Beds

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I don't want to live, I don't want to die
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In ‘I don’t want to live, I don’t want to die’, an exhibition in five acts by artist collective YEARS, the concept of art and artist are explored with wry humor and irony within the walls of Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen.

Founded in 2012 by artists Søren Aagaard, Ditte Boen Soria, Steffen Jørgensen, Anna Margrethe Pedersen and Merete Vyff Slyngborg, YEARS is a collaborative project, exhibition, office and workspace (as their website explains). The collective publicized their recent exhibition ‘I don’t want to live, I don’t want to die’ with a poster featuring a cat peeling an onion; a reference to Schrödinger’s cat, the paradoxical thought experiment from 1935 in which a cat in a box is considered as both alive and dead until it is observed. This poster is telling of the exhibition’s witticism, which makes clever commentary on the concept of art and artist. In ‘I don’t want to live, I don’t want to die’, the six rooms of Den Frie—a wooden pavilion designed by Jens Ferdinand Willumsen in 1989—are utilized as stages for a performance that asks what it means to create. Each of the rooms features beds; some are neatly made with white sheets, some appear slept in, while others are upended or covered in latex duvets. In this setting, YEARS ponder whether one is an artist simply because they make work; what makes art art, and not merely a hobby?

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All images © David Stjernholm