Museums Denmark

Kunsthal Charlottenborg forced to share building with academy

Institution was unsustainable amid “crazy financial situation”, says British director

The Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark’s biggest and most international exhibition space for contemporary art, is also halving its exhibition programme

Denmark’s biggest and most international exhibition space for contemporary art, the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, will have to halve its programme after a merger with the local Royal Academy of Arts. “We will have to start with less costly exhibitions and a less ambitious programme,” says Mikkel Bogh, the director of the academy.

The Danish minister for culture Uffe Elbæk says of the decision to merge the two institutions: “The art academy’s schools for visual arts get a very nice window on the world.” Charlottenborg will have fewer opportunities to stage its own programme—the academy’s graduation show, for example, will coincide with Charlottenborg’s traditional spring exhibition. It means that the building will be available for Charlottenborg’s exhibitions about half as much as previously.

The Charlottenborg’s director, Mark Sladen, who now reports to Bogh, proposed the merger. He sees it as the best option for “Charlottenborg’s future as a dynamic and sustainable cultural institution” given its “crazy financial situation” and politicians’ unwillingness to increase funding. Last year, Charlottenborg’s budget left only €60,000 for exhibitions—additional money had to come from external sources. But Sladen, who left London’s ICA amid severe budget problems less than two years ago, had difficulties as an outsider getting the wealthy Danish foundations to support him.

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Comments

26 Apr 12
16:21 CET

KAREN SCHOUSBOE, COPENHAGEN

Another reason is of course the "glut" of exhibition venues in Copenhagen... and Århus, and everywhere north of the city. Sladen has not had particular difficulties getting fundings because he is a foreigner. He has problems - the same as everybody else -because of the crisis.

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