© Bjørn Nørgaard and Lene Adler Petersen. Photo from the action The Expulsion from the Temple / Female Christ at the Copenhagen Stock Exchange on 29 May 1969. Photography: John Davidsen

What's Happening?

15 Films
14 Happenings
70 Paintings
503 Collages
3 Installations
28 Serigraphs
28 Photographs
24 Sculptures
24 Objects
16 Female artists
11 Male artists
2 Large galleries
5 Rooms

Entre: 110 kr. (unge under 27 år: 85 kr.)

The Stock Exchange happening

On 29 May 1969 at 15.30 a naked woman carrying a cross walks through the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

The contrast is startling: The public, male-dominated space; the formal, immaculately dressed men, Big Business: All this versus a lone, naked woman.

This proved that art could be more than just sculptures in a room; it could also constitute an investigation of social and cultural structures, of spiritual versus material values, of gender roles and politics.

The background behind The Female Christ

Bjørn Nørgaard met the artist Lene Adler Petersen in 1968; they were married the next year. Together, the couple were at the heart of the alternative squatter and hippie scenes in 1960s and 1970s Copenhagen, and together they staged collective actions, exhibitions, journals, political demonstrations, films, etc.

Joint actions

Collaboration and the opportunities represented by collective living were central issues for Adler Petersen and Nørgaard. They staged joint actions exploring whether – and how – art can interact with society. In 1969 their actions reached the Stock Exchange in Copenhagen. Performing in the work The Female Christ, Lene Adler Petersen walks – entirely unannounced – through the building’s vast hall while carrying a cross. The artists introduce a new, vibrant image depicting one of our grand narratives and carry out a startling intervention within the pulsating business world. The resulting clash has become an iconic modern-day image. The footage created for this work should also be viewed within the context of the film community ABCinema, which worked with e.g. collectively produced film and collective film screenings where several films were screened simultaneously.

© Marina Abramović, Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful, 1975

© Kirsten Justesen, Lunch, 1975

© Kirsten Justesen, Skulptur II, 1968
© Kirsten Justesen, Lunch, 1975

© VALIE EXPORT, Tapp und Tastkino, 1968

Lene Adler Petersen about the action

Speaking of the action, Lene Adler Petersen relates: ” We went there in a taxi; I was naked underneath my black coat, and I kept the cross against my stomach … I was amazingly nervous …But suddenly they were in full swing. David stood by the exit, filming, and Bjørn was walking with a tape recorder and with my clothes, and then I started walking. I remember a rope was suddenly blocking my way, I wasn’t expecting that, so that was quite weird, but then I just kept walking with the cross, holding it up high at first and then downwards, the way you hold a yo-yo. Then it was over. And you could have heard a pin drop! Someone shouted ”But – you can’t do that!” and ”Good heavens! Look, Sørensen, look!” Then we went out to the taxi waiting outside and drove away”.

© Bjørn Nørgaard and Lene Adler Petersen. Photo from the action The Expulsion from the Temple / Female Christ, 1969.

Kirsten Justesen (1943- ) and Jytte Rex (1942- ), Sleeping Beauty, 1971

Introduction to the exhibition

The 60s and 70s was a time of upheaval in the arts.

Poul Gernes: Untitled

Gernes' dots

The twenty images in Poul Gernes' big series from 1968-69 all depict dots.

Kirsten Justesen (1943- ) and Jytte Rex (1942- ), Sleeping Beauty, 1971
© Kirsten Justesen (1943- ) og Jytte Rex (1942- ), Tornerose var et vakkert barn, 1971

Sleeping Beauty

With their 1971 work Sleeping Beauty, Kirsten Justesen and Jytte Rex gave a provocative view of reality.

The Stock Exchange happening

The Stock Exchange happening

One day in 1969 a naked woman holding a cross walked through the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.