Profane Theatre

21.02 – 29.03.2014


Profane Theatre is a new exhibition in a series of ‘profane’ exhibitions by the artist. In this exhibition Søren Jensen presents a single installation that is itself a type of performance. The profane works reflect a wider body of work and work practice whose ideas take their starting point from popular custom and the everyday.

The works are recognizable as objects in themselves, that is, from outside of an artistic framework; it could be a carousel, a car, a doll, a bicycle rack or a trailer. At the same time these works cause us to reflect on what we devote our time to and how we make use of our everyday life, our external reality and the matter and objects that our everyday life is made up of.


The Installation Profane Theatre – Hunter and animalsin the woods consists of costumes, masks, hand puppets, an illuminated sign and a video of a site specific theatre piece. Hunter and animals in the woods is an installation based on the familiar hand puppet.

Hand puppets are recognized in almost all cultures as a simple form of theatre. They are typically used to show stereotypes and caricatured portrayals; in this naïve simplification, cultural revelations and hidden meanings are unseen. The puppets are therefore perhaps not as innocent as they initially appear and it is these hidden meanings that Hunter and animals in the woods uses to create new artistic significance. Profane theatre is a way of recirculating a traditional custom aptly explained by Samuel Beckett’s ‘How it is’.


The profane works can also be explorations in specific practices. This can be seen in Søren Jensen’s books ‘Minigolf på Fyn’ and ‘Fynsk tillykke’. In these books however, the exploration is more of a study in anthropology than an artwork.


Søren Jensen (b.1957) was educated at the Danish Royal Academy of Art in 1986. He is, among others, represented by The National Gallery of Denmark, The National Museum of Photography, Arken, Trapholt Museum of Art. Between 1999 and 2006 Søren Jensen was the rector of Funen Art Academy and most recently he was chairman of The Danish Arts Council between 2011 and 2014.

Photo credits: Jan Søndergaard