The Best Rock Song in the World 2011
The Best Rock Song in the World
2011 Project Room D7, Copenhagen, Aug 19th (in Danish)
2011 Project Room D7, Copenhagen Contemporary, 1 Sept (in English)
A performance about icons, portraits and representation, about the internet - and the best rock song in the world.
With Maria Wandel (paintings/performing), Carina Randløv (drums), Peter Tinning (recorder)
Video shows excerpts from live performance at Project Room D7. Full lenght 20 min.
'The artist can sing. Only the piece is not really dealing with music. It is about being present and vulnerable. Molly in the paintings is exposed yet untouchable. She dares to expose herself, recount childhood memories and sing her favourite songs.'
Full review in Danish by Line Rosenvinge below or at KUNSTEN.NU:
The Best Rock Song in the World (2011)
The Best Rock Song in the World is a performance about self-image, idols and representation. Holding a ukulele in front of two canvasses with their backs to the audience, Haslund tells the story of 11-year-old Molly, who sees herself as being somewhere between the cool look of the rock idols on the posters in her room, and a girl in a pink dress with a ray of sunshine in her hair – a self-image the local portrait painter of her childhood completely fails to capture. A woman in a painter’s smock comes on stage and hangs the two portraits Haslund has commissioned on the wall. One of them – a portrait of the artist naked with her ukulele – leaves the vulnerability of the artist facing the gaze of the audience hanging in the air between Haslund and the paintings. With a laconic fuck finger to the apparently irresolvable dilemmas of representation, Haslund sings Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven accompanied by the ukulele, a recorder and a set of children’s drums. The rock dream finds a possible form, and still strumming the ukulele Haslund suddenly shouts “Do you remember the internet?". Time collapses, and Stairways to Heaven merges into the story of another 11-year-old Molly, who the artist discovered during her online research. On her blog, her namesake proclaims the Led Zeppelin classic to be the best rock song in the world. Between the two 11-year-olds separated by time and envisioning a post-internet age, all 11-year-olds – past, present and future – appear as self-aware individuals too rarely seen as the thinking beings they are, but with a whole lifetime to find a tolerable balance between the ever-pressing issues of self-perception, the projections of others, ideals, and reality.
A Recession Display by Line Rosenvinge
Sep. 1st, 2011 [Review] On a day when the stock market continued to plummet I entered a cellar space in order to obtain a dose of comprehensible Avant guard art. They say that the consumption of culture increases in times of recession. Is this to escape? Or to find inspiration for new thoughts?
'It is just like in the 80ties”. In the cellar stood a woman with jet-black hair dressed in a snow-white suit speaking of the day she had her portrait done as a child. She deeply wanted to wear a pink dress but was portrayed in blue canvas overalls, as she was a farmer’s daughter.
The artist is called Molly Haslund. Molly was performing an alternative version of one of the greatest rock songs of all times: “Stairway to Heaven”. She was accompanied by a recorder and a mini drum-set for kids. This display was executed in front of Maria Wandel’s nude portraits of Molly - and one painting of her in a pink dress with her ukulele.'
The artist can sing. Only the piece is not really dealing with music. It is about being present and vulnerable. Molly in the paintings is exposed yet untouchable. She dares to expose herself, recount childhood memories and sing her favourite songs. In Maria Wandel’s paintings the display becomes complete. Portraits have dealt with issues of representation: How do you like to see yourself? Royals and ruling classes presented themselves in sympathetic ways. Yet the cellar display revealed the artist with such sincerity that it became a pleasant escape and a perfect end to a busy working week. The display was inspiring too, as the fragility surrounding it evoked personal longings.
Currently discussions on performative practice are raised, also within visual arts circles. Maria Wandel and Molly Haslund are both trained visual artists but have, in this performance, incorporated a choreographed time and place based performance. In fact Molly Haslund has chosen to make performance her main practice, though predominantly in visual art contexts.
The display itself didn’t last more than fifteen minutes but their confidence intensified the sense of presence, as they performed this raw, pathos packed and symbolically dense rock song, Stairway To heaven by Led Zepplin.
Respect and the prince of death
The song culminates in Molly, Maria, the female drummer and the male recorder player singing together.
There was merely respect and applause.
O. D. Death Prince performed subsequently and the guests placed their empty beer cans on sculptures from the exhibition.
“It was just like in the 1980ies”, exclaimed several guests. Around fifty people in a damp cellar, munching salty snacks and buying drinks for one pound. It was a great party.
Written based on the exhibition opening Friday August19th, 2011. The artists will repeat their display on Thursday September 1st for a performance night at 6.30-9pm, free admissions. Carina Randløv played drums and Peter Tinning the recorder.
Other exhibitors include: Peter Bonde, Christian Finne, Melou Vanggaard, Dan Saug, Simon Grimm, Rose Eken, Anika Lori, Per Gerhard, Maria Wandel, Molly Haslund. The exhibition runs 12-3.30pm until September 4th in Project Room D7, Classensgade7d, back yard, 2100 Copenhagen Ø,
Parts of this text were posted on the newspaper Børsen’s blog on August 25th 2011.
Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page & Robert Plant 1971
Photos by Ekspress
Download pdf here