“The Meeting” is a sculpture which is planned to be placed at Sortedam Dossering at the end of Hedemannsgade in Copenhagen so that it will be visible to everyone who walks or cycles along the Lakes. The sculpture will be made of bronze on a staircase-like plinth approx. 2 meters high. It has arisen in dialogue with citizens in the area. Copenhagen’s Citizens’ Representation has approved the sculpture and would like to receive it as a gift, however the municipality does not have the funds for the execution and installation of the sculpture. Thanks to generous financial support from the Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen Foundation, the L.F. Foght Foundation and Alrowmedia, the project (April 15-23) is close to being fully financed. The plan is for the sculpture to be inaugurated in the summer of 2024.
Specifically, the sculpture is inspired by the Mannerist painting The Visit to an Altarpiece in the baroque church Chiesa Nuova in Rome, executed in the 1580s by the Italian painter Federico Barocci, which I became aware of at the exhibition Creation of the Work of Art at the Statens Museum for Art.
Several drawings by Barocci were shown here. The motif is so simple, Elisabeth and Maria who meet on a staircase. There is something in that meeting, the way they hold each other’s hands and look at each other that I am deeply fascinated by, the way the somewhat older Elisabeth stands at the top, expressing welcome, and Maria who steps up to Elisabeth. There is something so fundamentally simple and straightforward about their meeting. I have made several smaller sculptures where it is two mythical creatures that meet in the same way. This in a search for the most essential in the situation, where it is not important that it is two women or two important figures in Christianity who meet, but the meeting itself. To emphasize the universality of the situation, here are two mythical animals meeting each other. Since the sculpture has no plinth apart from the staircase-like granite plinth, the sculpture will be open for dialogue with the viewer who can sit on the steps and interact with the two.
link to Copenhagen Municipality webside(only danish):
The then 18-year-old Benjamin Christian Schou was on New Year’s Eve 1992 in the City Hall Square in Copenhagen. At 0.20 Schou was arrested and placed in a leg lock. The police’s rationale for arresting and placing Schou in a leg lock was the police’s view that Schou had thrown bottles at them and then tried to escape.
Three officers lay on top of Benjamin. One of them pressed his knee hard against his back, while another tugged at his scarf. He was placed in a leg lock and carried into a police vehicle, after which he was taken to the local police station. Upon arrival, police officers found him unconscious and began heart lung resuscitation on him. During the transport, however, he had suffered a cardiac arrest, and although the policemen revived him, the brain had been without oxygen for so long that Benjamin Schou was brain damaged. Later he was declared 100% disabled. Benjamin Schou did not regain consciousness and lived in a nursing home, where he died on the night of September 5, 2008; at the age of almost 35 years.
Benjamin Schou is buried at Holmens Kirkegård in Copenhagen.
The family subsequently filed a civil lawsuit against the Copenhagen Police, and on Benjamin’s 22nd birthday, 17 November 1995, the Eastern District Court ordered the police to pay compensation in the then record-breaking amount of 1.4 million. DKK. The court based its verdict on the fact that the police officers should have reacted and discovered that Benjamin Schou was not conscious. However, the officers were not held personally responsible for the case.
In 1994, it was forbidden for the police to use the ‘fixed leg lock’ method, just as the police’s harsh treatment of Benjamin Schou led to criticism of Denmark in Amnesty International’s annual report.
Many years after the episode, Benjamin is still remembered in the left-wing environment, which during demonstrations etc. often used the battle cry Do you remember Benjamin? against the police. But the police have also used the term, i.a. during the 18 May 1993 riots to remind those arrested how bad things can go if you resist arrest.