Studio interview by Morten Sondergaard ahead of show at Messums London September 2020
Jørgen is one of Denmark’s most esteemed and celebrated sculptors. This podcast features Jørgen interviewed by the Danish writer, editor and artist Morten Sondergaard ahead of his show at Messums London this Autumn.
Jørgen Haugen Sørensen, born in Copenhagen in 1934, is one of Denmark’s most esteemed and decorated sculptors. Since the age of nineteen, he has lived and worked in various European metropoles such as Paris, Verona, and Barcelona. In 1971 he moved to Pietrasanta in Tuscany, Italy, which has served as his primary residence ever since. Throughout his entire artistic career he has consistently and independently focused his attention on the human condition in society.
3 Portrait films by Malene Ravn, April 2019.
Malene Ravn made 3 portraitfilms of Jørgen Haugen Sørensen in connection with his exhibition at J.F. Willumsens Museum in 2019.
In the works of Lisbet Lund, Director at Willumsens Museum:
In the exhibition “Time meets time. J.F. Willumsen and Jørgen Haugen Sørensen” Willumsens Museum has invited one of Denmark’s most distinctive living sculptors, Jørgen Haugen Sørensen (1934), to engage in dialogue with a selection of J.F. Willumsen’s works. Haugen Sørensen has produced new sculptures for the exhibition, but existing works from the last 15 years will also be shown. In the exhibition localities his bronze sculptures, ceramic reliefs, drawings and lithographs meet Willumsen’s monumental marble relief, colourful paintings and expressive etchings. Common to the exhibited works is a focus on human life as it is lived for better or for worse. Both Willumsen and Haugen Sørensen deal in their art with human existence – how we perceive what is outside us ad what is inside us, and what we do with and to one another. Their interpretation of the existential theme finds expression in a variety of ways, as they work in various media and look at the challenges of life from different ages. There will thus be points in common, convergences and clashes between the works of the two visual artists in the exhibition.
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