Ursula Reuter Christiansen: THE EXECUTIONER

Men drinking beer, a grave, a field of poppies and the killing of a woman. A new exhibition unfolds the universe surrounding the short film The Executioner – one of the most important works within Danish feminist art.

‘The next great moment in history is ours’. That is how Ursula Reuter Christiansen ends her art film The Executioner from 1971.

In this short film, Reuter Christiansen revolts against the roles traditionally attributed to women – for example that of ‘mother’. She does so by quite literally killing a woman. The film consists of a series of tableaux in which the central female protagonist meets other characters. She encounters the Executioner in a field of poppies; she meets an exhausted soldier, whom she breastfeeds; and she comes across a flock of beer-swilling men digging her grave. The film is a key work within early Danish feminist art.

A constantly evolving work
Working in close co-operation with Ursula Reuter Christiansen, SMK has created an immersive large-scale installation based on the original film. The exhibition allows you to explore the entire universe surrounding The Executioner through sound, pictures and objects.
You can also delve into the artist’s continuing work on the film’s themes from then to the present day – and see how the film was received among the feminist scenes in Denmark and Germany at the time.

About the artist


The German born artist Ursula Reuter Christiansen (born 1943 in Trier, Germany) graduated from the Akademie der Künste, Düsseldorf, in 1969. At the academy she studied under professor Joseph Beuys. She married the Danish composer Henning Christiansen (1932–2008), and in 1969 the couple settled in Askeby on the Danish island of Møn, where Ursula Reuter Christiansen still lives and works today.

Reuter Christiansen was a professor at the art academy in Hamburg (HfBK) from 1992–97 and professor of painting at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen from 1997 to 2006.

She represented Denmark at the 2001 Venice Biennial alongside Henning Christiansen. Reuter Christiansen’s other exhibition activities include Kunsthal Charlottenborg (2016), MOCA, Los Angeles (2007–08), Kunsthallen Brandts Klædefabrik (2000) and more.

The exhibition is genrously supported by

Practical information

Exhibition period
8. February – 10. June 2018

Opening hours
Tuesdays – Sundays 11–17
Wednesdays 11–20
Mondays closed

Admission fee
Adults: DKK 110
Under 30: DKK 85
Under 18: Free
1 adult + 1 child: DKK 90
Annual pass holders: Free

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