Motervejsskildt af Jens Galschiøt
In 2019, a 3 × 3 meter brown “Galleri Galschiøt” tourist sign was erected on Funen's E20 motorway, indicating Galleri Galschiøt location, and is at the same time a recognition of Galleri Galschiøt as being of particularly great cultural value.
The sign is located on the highway at Tietgenbyen exit 48. In connection with the highway sign, 10 signage signs have been erected, leading towards the gallery throughout Odense.
This may be the most progressive sign on a motorway in Europe.
The sign captures the entirety Galschiøt’s visual universe and tells in the most exquisite manner what one can experience by visiting Gallery Galschiøt. It is 7 of the artist’s most well-known and controversial art fairings, depicted in silhouette on the big motorway sign.
The original sculpture is of copper and 3 meters tall. A giant overweight justice goddess (Justitia) with her scales in her hand on top of a starved man. Her motto is “I sit on the back of a man – he is about to collapse under my burden – I will do everything to help him except to step down from his back.” The sculpture is a commentary on the sense of justice of the Western world, where we have much of the wealth on earth, while preaching democracy, equality, freedom and brotherhood without sharing with others. The sculpture stands in both Ringkøbing and Galschiøt’s workshop and is one of his most famous sculptures.
H. C. Andersen i en queer tid - 2012
The original sculpture is 2 meters tall, and is a sculptural commentary on the academic discussion on the reading of H.C. Andersen’s works with a queer perspective. The sculpture is composed of two classic sculptures the “Venus de Milo” and Bissen’s “H.C. Andersen’s portrait” from 1864 and shows Andersen’s femenine sides and discusses how he could have reacted to a time when it is not unusual to flirt with his gender identity… The sculpture created much debate as it was launched in connection with a large collection for breast cancer.
The original sculpture is 7x3x10 meters and was made for the climate summit Cop 21 in Paris. It consists of a giant scientific graph about CO2 accumulation over the past 300 years. Speared on the graph is a polar bear hanging at a height of 7 meters. It has, since Paris, been set up in front of the Folketing, at Cop 23, in Bonn and countless other places.
The pillar of Shame - 1995
The sculpture is 9 meters high and made to mark and remember massacres and abuses in the world. The first sculpture marked the massacre of Tiananmen Square in June 4, 1989, when students were killed by the Chinese military and tanks, who crushed the dream of democracy and human rights in China.
There were over 100,000 participants when the sculpture was erected permanently in Hong Kong in 1997, just before Hong Kong was taken over by China. It now stands at the Hong Kong University and is protected by 10,000 students and is the only memorial there is about the
massacre on Chinese soil.
I the name of God - 2007
I Guds navn, is a 6 feet tall crucified pregnant teenager. The sculpture focuses on the fact that the Catholic Church has introduced a ban on contraception (and sexual education).
The Catholic Pope John Paul II from Poland introduced the absurd dogma, that God has determined that when a man and woman are sexually united, there must be the possibility of getting pregnant, “preventing this is outrageous and equivalent to 1000 abortions every time you have sex”. This prohibition of contraception applies to all, both inside and outside of marriage, and to all forms of contraception and is still valid for over one billion Catholics.
The contraception ban has been catastrophic in many countries, as it becomes impossible for them to have birth control and prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Especially many teenagers have become pregnant due to the ban.
The sculpture has stood in front of the cathedral in Copenhagen and been set up in Kenya, Germany, Brazil and Nicaragua, and it is part of many books on Christianity and sexual education.
Freedom to Pollute - 2002
Freedom to Pollute is a 6 meter tall Statue of Liberty that sends up pillars of smoke from her torch. In the constitution she holds in her hand, the text was changed to “Freedom to Pollute”. The sculpture has been included in countless art manifestations around the world to put focus on the Western world’s demands for freedom of growth and senseless consumption, no matter what the consequences are for our shared planet.
‘The nations trauma’
The setting up of the sculpture cost Galschiøt a permanent entry ban in China and two times an expulsion from Hong Kong. It is this year (2019) the 30th anniversary of the massacre, and therefore Galschiøt chose that this sculpture should be in the centre of the sign to honour the memory of the students.
On the sculpture, one of the most famous poets in China, Szeto Wah, has made a very beautiful calligraphy, which reads “The nation’s trauma”. The Pillar of Shame is also set up in Mexico and Brazil.
In November 1993, 22 tons heavy and 3 meters high sculptures were set up in extensive parts of Europe.
This is one of the greatest art happening / street art works ever made on European soil.
All the sculptures were erected illegally within 2 days and over 100 people helped with the project.
This was Galschiot’s first happening in public, and he made it to shed light on the fact that after the fall of the Berlin Wall we faced tipping points in our history, after which immigration will be greatly increased due to the social imbalance.
Either we shared our wealth and created a social and economic balance in Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa, so that the people could have a future in their own countries, or we built a new wall around Europe to keep the others out of our territory.
Galschiøt said that if we chose the new wall, we would enter into a (new) brutalisation and lose the basic principles of European civilization of freedom, equality and brotherhood. The text “Don’t feed your inner beast” is engraved on the sculptures. They are part of a number of art collections and are used in many contexts.
The original sculptures
Galschiøt has made a number of unique sculptures sold to provide financing for a brown motorway sign, crossing Odense from the highway and for a restructuring of the Gallery. The signs and rebuilding cost us alot to make. That’s why we started this art crowdfunding project.
We finance all our major projects at our own expense, which gives us an independence, which just allows us at Galleri Galschiøt to speak and challenge social norms freely.
Galleri Galschiøts ansøgning
This is the application the gallery wrote to the committee in charge of the brown motorway signs. Here you can read why we wanted (and got) the spot for the 3×3 meter sign. This was written back in September of 2018, and now everything is happening!
Throughout 2018, Gallery Galschiøt has negotiated with the State Roads Agency and the Municipality of Odense on the possibility of a sign in the public space and the approval of 500 people in the gallery, which has been approved in 2019.
We thank everyone who supported us and made the highway sign possible.