HERNING—This publication was put together during a brief five-day residency at communications bureau IB&CO, Ikast - a Danish town of 23,000 inhabitants. The photographs and stories herein were gathered through the local historical archives of Ikast, the press archives of Ikast newspaper, Herning Art Museum photo archive, and contributions from people who answered my local ad ‘Danes in the Sun’. The project was organized by Jacob Fabricius and part of the 2004 edition of the art biennial 'Socle du Monde' which fosters a tradition of artists collaborating with local industries, initiated by the shirt manufacturer Aage Damgaard who invited Piero Manzoni to work there in the 1950s. Herning Kunstmuseum still has one of the world's finest Manzoni collections, including the Socle du Monde
THE TAXI STAND, BILLUND AIRPORT
Hotel Eyde in Herning Please
Are you visiting a clothing company, or what?
No, not at all, why do you say that?
There are plenty of clothing companies where you are going
Well, no, I am artist, I am visiting the museum
A painter, or what?
No, publishing, I am making a magazine. It's still so cold out. Where is everybody?
Inside their houses, or down South
Where does the South start?
Below Germany, in my mind at least. I was a lorry driver for 20 years before driving this taxi
You got tired?
Oh, it was just different in the old days. Less stress. You could stay away, take it slow on the route; see things. Not anymore
Did you explore Europe that way?
Yep, I've pretty much been everywhere. But not America. As long as you have Bush over there I am not going
Bush is everywhere, you can't escape Bush
He is a danger to world peace in my opinion
Doesn't it look peaceful around here?
It IS peaceful, not a soul, as you said
Yes, but maybe they are indoors, fighting
OK. Why did you choose to come to Herning?
Herning Kunstmuseum chose me! I was invited. I don't know anything, or anyone
So what is your magazine about?
Danes in the Sun, it is called. I am interested in people's relationship to weather. Isn't it boring to be a cab driver after 20 years on long routes?
No not at all, sometimes it gets really fun to drive this cab
Once I picked up this Swedish millionaire, I ended up driving him 1400 kilometers. He told me his life story
He was very depressed. Stone Rich. Drunk, and stoned. He had a beautiful wife, they had been on vacation with their child in Legoland but had a fight. She flew back home, he decided to take a cab. He said, "Call my wife from this cab and tell her what I am doing!". I called his wife, she wasn't even upset. He said she only loves him for the money. He owns three factories in Sweden. Very sad story. I dropped him off north of Stockholm. He offered me to stay overnight but I said I needed to get home to my own wife. I was home at 5pm the next day
Only a lorry driver could do that
Danes in The Sun
Aleksandra Mir, 2004
Commissioned by Jacob Fabricius, Socle du Monde, 2004
Kunstmuseum, Herning and IB&CO, Ikast