by Kristian von Hornsleth
To make the project a reality, I needed the ingredients. The first stage was already there.
Picture this; A picturesque island called Langeland. Drive for two hours heading South West from the Danish capitol, Copenhagen, and you’re there. There’s a school, atypical of the best traditions that the Danish education system prides itself for, called ‘Langelands Efterskole’. Public funding keeps it running, and the influx of students are 9th and 10th Graders, all with potential that needs honing in painting, photography, drama etc. We’re talking about a serious arts focus here.
Anyway, they approached me about doing an art workshop for a day, teaching theory and practice according to my own particular style. But, why do something that Teachers can already do? There had to be something more interesting, more proactive and frankly more atavistic for the students to grab hold of as a concept and fly with.
Little could I have known. But, let’s put this in context. Don’t dismiss Langelands as being just another school. Far from it. It’s very popular because most of the kids have never been living away from home before, and they quickly find that there’s a unique freedom of artistic expression there, revitalising their confidence and rejuvinating their creativity in readiness for highschool.
Well, now you understand that, you see that there was an opportunity to do something far more than just explain how to paint! This could be a performance piece about the nature of violence. It happens there, just look at Columbine.
And that was it! Columbine. That was the point of focus, and for want of a better word, the inspiration.