When the Threat Is Wrought in Neon

A provocation written in cursive and wrought in neon by the artist collective Superflex shines as one of the highlights at the Live Auction in Copenhagen – explosive, satirical and with an intentional spelling error. The work's coarse quote is taken directly from a letter to the artist collective in response to one of their most iconic projects.

For the first time ever, we can present one of Superflex's more controversial works when we auction off Contemporary Art in Copenhagen this March. The work "Letter to Superflex, 14 January 2008" was created by the artist collective founded by the trio Bjørnstjerne Reuter Christiansen, Jakob Fenger and Rasmus Nielsen. From time to time, their artistic comments on social issues have created fierce backlash. The work at this auction is a response to one of these strong reactions.

Hard-hitting Satire

One January day in 2008, the artist collective Superflex received a threatening letter: “If you don't like Danmark. Goodbye. fuck off. Go home…” was the message in the letter. It was written in response to the collective's today iconic, orange poster with the caption: "Foreigners, Please Don’t Leave Us Alone With The Danes". From 2002 and onwards, facades and walls all over Copenhagen were adorned with the poster. Its colourful, simple design focused on the harsh tone of the immigration debate in Denmark with a seemingly equally hard-hitting satirical strategy. At least hard enough to provoke a threatening letter several years later.

For years, the orange poster "Foreigners, Please Don't Leave Us Alone With The Danes" adorned many public surfaces in Copenhagen. Today, it can be experienced in a large format at the National Gallery of Denmark. Photo: Superflex.

Dialogue Wrought in Neon

After 9/11, the tone of the immigration debate in Denmark achieved new heights – or lows, depending on one's perspective – and it was noticed far beyond the country's borders. Superflex chose to comment on the tone of the debate by asking for help. From abroad. And in typical fashion for the artist collective, they also chose not to let the threatening letter that arrived years later go unnoticed. Instead, they had the pointless demand to go home wrought in neon so that everyone could be struck by the provocative strength and deep insensitivity of the statement.

In connection with the exhibition "Cool, Calm and Collected" at ARoS, where the work was exhibited in 2017-18, the collective explained: "The ignorance and violent hatred – perhaps derived from fear and racism – that the spelling error and the words in the threatening letter express, combined with the paradox that we are not foreigners, but rather Danish citizens, and therefore cannot be thrown out of the country, seemed in our view to contain an interesting degree of suspense and irony."

Hear more about the highly charged neon artwork in the film below, when Kathrine Eriksen, Specialist in Contemporary Art, tells us more about the story behind the work:

Live Auction

Contemporary Art

10 March at 4 pm

Do You Want to Sell at Auction?

We have another auction with contemporary art in the pipeline at the end of March at bruun-rasmussen.dk, which we look forward to presenting to you. The auction is open for consignments until 12 March, so if you have works you want to sell at auction, then please feel free to contact us directly or request an estimate via our online valuation.

For further information, please contact:

Niels Boe Hauggaard: +45 8818 1182 · nbh@bruun-rasmussen.dk

Kathrine Eriksen: +45 8818 1184 · ke@bruun-rasmussen.dk

Peter Beck (Aarhus): +45 8818 1186 · pb@bruun-rasmussen.dk

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