thorsten dennerline, “Ny dansk poesi/New Danish Poetry”


Thorsten Dennerline
Bennington, Vermont

Ny dansk poesi/New Danish Poetry
Book: Stone, plate and offset lithography, metal and polymer letterpress, woodcuts, handmade and machine made papers, hand bound in handmade paper and in a slip case.

Artist Statement

The two main areas of my work are publishing books and creating unique objects. The most common thread between them is my interest in poetry. This has resulted in collaboration, and has also fostered my interest in the relationship between text and image.

I am comfortable with things that have multiple meanings, or the unexplainable. My work uses a combination of intentional disruption, the unexpected, spontaneity and improvisation as well as a desire to pursue the sublime through the use of materials. This perpetual pursuit—and its inevitable impossibility—is an ever-present element of the content and process in my projects. My books are equally informed by the history of books and design as by contemporary art and culture.

This book was a major undertaking. It involved 18 collaborators, multi languages, a five month residency in Copenhagen, a translator, a catalog essay by a literary scholar, five print shops, many kinds of paper, and trouble shooting of the highest order.

The idea was to use the idea of “anthology” as a point of departure by inviting someone to either curate or gather elements that I could respond to visually and/or collaboratively. I invited the recent Danish Drachmanns Legatet Literature Prize winner, Susanne Jorn to do this. She also happens to be a family member, so there is an added a personal aspect to the project that responds to the fact that our we are an artist family. One example that influences us all, is that my grandfather was the painter and master collaborator, Asger Jorn. She responded to the prompt by inviting six young Danish poets to work with me. They all agreed and I then chose to work with each poet separately on a four page section of the book. The idea was that each collaboration would be different and demonstrate how the process of working together can allow for an emergence of an unplanned third element that goes beyond the input of the individuals involved. Each section is quite different as a result.

The book was planned to be in a solo exhibition at Galleri Tom Christoffersen in June 2020, but this has been postponed four times due to covid. The exhibition is now scheduled to open on June 17, 2022 with a reading the next day. The first prototypes of this book were exhibited at the Editions and Artist Books Fair in New York City in 2019, and the edition was just finished in 2021.

The book was printed in five different print shops both in the US and Denmark, using lithographic plates, lithographic stones, large polymer letterpress plates, woodcut, and metal type. Paper ranged from Twinrocker handmade covers, to Saint Armand handmade sheets to machine made printing papers. See the colophon supplement for more information.