Denmark: A huge fish fillet divides the minds in Aabenraa

Farce for pan fish
Is that art or for the pan? A huge fish fillet divides the minds in Aabenraa, Denmark

The fish fillet artwork in Aabenraa, which is already causing discussion in Denmark, could look like this or something similar

© milanfoto / Getty Images

In the city of Aabenraa in the south of Denmark, a work of art is supposed to adorn the city. But even before it hangs, minds are divided. The reason: It is a huge, breaded fish fillet from the 3-D printer.

Nowadays a lot can be art. It depends on how you define the term “art”. A breaded fish fillet can also be art. A large, three meter long, 100 kilogram heavy fish fillet from the 3-D printer. It is supposed to be hung on a house wall in the city of Aabenraa (Aabenraa in German). In Denmark there is a discussion: is it art or not? In any case, the radio presenters in the country are grateful for this topic.

But what’s the point? Behind the work of art – if you want to call it that – is the 43-year-old Torsten Ribe. His work is part of the art project in the Nørreport district, in which several young artists are exhibited. With the help of a scanner and a 3-D printer, he wants to create the giant fish fillet that Captain Iglo would be very jealous of. “It is a public space decoration that I was invited to,” he told the regional broadcaster TV Syd. He hopes that it will arouse amazement and joy and “hopefully give an insight into everyday poetry”. The “super-naturalistic” work of art should then be hung up in the spring.

Local politicians in Denmark shake their heads at the fish fillet

The minds in the 16,000-inhabitant city not far from the German-Danish border are divided over the fish question. According to TV Syd, the proponents say that the work of art already fulfills its goal of generating discussions and providing food for thought – even before it is installed.

On the one hand. On the other hand, some feel like they are in the pan – because it’s a fish and not an old ham. You shake your head when it comes to considering the fish fillet (without tartar sauce, mind you!) As an art. There is also criticism in local politics. In the town hall, a city council even suggested placing the work of the artist Torben Ribes on the waste incineration plant – instead of on a wall in the city center.

Jette Julius Kristiansen, who until recently sat on the city council for the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party, told the newspaper “Jyllands-Posten”: “Politically, I’ve been dealing with art and culture for many years. I like modern art and paint a little myself. That’s why I know something about it; and a fish fillet is not art. It doesn’t fit at all in the passage in which it is placed There are no restaurants or cafes nearby that a fish fillet refers to. “

Artist is happy about the reactions

And what does Ribe say about the fuss about his fish? He takes it calmly and is happy about the debate, as he tells TV Syd. “It wasn’t the primary purpose, but I’m always happy when it leads to people making the effort to get into the work and discuss it, even though there are so many other important issues. So it is a positively derived effect. “

But one question remains: why a fish fillet? The radio station P1 Ribe reveals: “I had a year-long interest in everyday objects and especially food. I find that extremely interesting, this relationship between art and food.” It’s easy to get lost in details, structures and textures. And the fish fillet fits well in the place in Aabenraa where it should hang, he thinks. He hopes that the viewer thinks about it or is made to smile. He also likes breaded fish fillet. Well then, bon appétit!

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