How can artists and companies use each other?
“Creativity is our capital,” Danish artist Ursula Reuter Christiansen argued when art and its conditions were up for debate at Kunsthal Charlottenborg on 26 April. Five panelists shared their diverse opinions on the ever-debated subject of art and business.
Kunsthal Charlottenborg was packed to the brink with people during the most recent edition of their Coffee Club, where renowned artists Ursula Reuter Christiansen and Esben Weile Kjær, designer Mads Nørgaard, director of the Danish Chamber of Commerce and former minister Brian Mikkelsen, and our CIO Peter Holme Jensen debated what happens when art and companies interact.
“We approach art as a fourth dimension. Art inspires our scientists and our company to develop new solutions and products. Dialogue between artists and scientists is crucial because they face the same challenges. To both, silo mentality is a pressing challenge because they tend to get so absorbed by their own universe that they forget the world around them,” Peter said when asked how Aquaporin benefits from working with artists.
Designer and fashion company owner Mads Nørgaard also sees great advantages in collaborating with artists. To him, art is disturbing in its very essence and a generator of important questions and creativity – a pillar in design processes.
Brian Mikkelsen, former Minister for Culture in Denmark, agrees about the importance of art, which he perceives as fundamental research that companies can use to understand and develop solutions to the needs of our society.
What’s in it for the artists?
Like Brian Mikkelsen pointed out, the young artist Esben Weile Kjær views his art as an analysis of contemporary society and structures. Art is the culture of our society’s innovation space, and Esben uses his art to bring attention to the problems he sees with the system we are all more or less subject to. In that system, trades are being made, and what artists offer as capital is their creativity, Ursula Reuter Christiansen argued.
But when collaborating with companies, what’s in it for the artists? Obviously, the answer differs from artist to artist, company to company, and collaboration to collaboration, but Peter Holme Jensen was clear about the objective of Aquaporin’s art initiative Primer:
“What we can offer artists is 100 % creative freedom. Because the art industry is so conservative, artists who have collaborated with us have felt great freedom in their creative expressions,” he said. In other words: Primer is a space for artists to unfold their art without compromising their originality, integrity, and autonomy.
Watch the full panel debate at Kunsthal Charlottenborg here.