Art Sees Through Society - Louisiana Channel
“Sometimes I wonder if mankind is the happiest when it kills. Whether we are some sort of castrated mankind that has learned to tame itself in order to be able to live together.” Meet Danish sculptor Jørgen Haugen Sørensen for a conversation about art, society and the beast within us.
Just before his 80th birthday, Jørgen Haugen Sørensen (b. 1934) finished an artwork that already now is regarded as a modern classic. For the Copenhagen courthouse Sørensen shaped a series of reliefs that confront society with it’s dark sides. ”We're up against chaos. We're up against violence. Theft. Stupidity. Dog fights. And we're up against ourselves and up against our own system.”
For about 200 years the walls in room 60 of the Copenhagen courthouse had been empty. Originally, it was Denmark’s great classical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen who was asked to decorate the room, but this project was never realised. So when Jørgen Haugen Sørensen was asked to take on the job, it was with great interest for the fades and stories taking place in the courtroom every day - people confronted by the law which they themselves have broken: ”What creates a society? Obviously, laws determine how a society should look. And it varies from country to country, how we are raised and what laws there are to keep us in line. And a society that we can live in must be formed.” ...
Jørgen Haugen Sørensen - I believe, I see. Portrait film by Malene Ravn, 2007.
"We are missing witnesses of our time," says Jorgen Haugen Sorensen, one of Denmark's most prominent sculptors. Free of style, rules and trends in art, he uses his life impressions and experiences of all that he experiences, thinks, sees. The film director Malene Ravn has followed Jorgen Haugen Sorensen for the last 10 years, where he has returned to clay and the figurative, which he started with as a young man. Haugen Sorensen uses his clay sculptures as stories, and the film portrays, with an intense presence, the artist at work, from infancy feeling, thought, idea to finished work. Jorgen Haugen Sorensen's huge energy carries the film, while giant dogfights, mangled corpses and skulls spring up from between his hands.
Produced with support from the Danish Film Institute, LF Foghts Fund, Beckett Foundation and DR.
An Experience Less, 1993
A film about the sculptor Jørgen Haugen Sørensen, who sees his work as that of a poet. In his quest for simplicity, precision, he must cut and chop away. Jorgen Haugen Sorensen is fundamentally Danish. But his life abroad has given him a distant gaze, like a tourist who watches life around him. The film follows Jorgen Haugen Sorensen over a long period while working in Italy, Spain, Turkey and Denmark.
Photographer: Lars Beyer, Eli Benveniste Instructor: Eli Benveniste, Lars Beyer, Dino Raymond Hansen, Prami Larsen Cutter: Prami Larsen Sound: Dino Raymond Hansen, Peter Witt Manuscript: Eli Benveniste, Lars Beyer, Dino Raymond Hansen, Prami Larsen Participants: Jorgen Haugen Sorensen Production: Det Danske Filmværksted Country: Danmark 07.10.1993