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International conferences, learning projects, art studies for refugees. There are multiple ongoing research projects taking place at Louisiana.

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WATCH VIDEO: Multiple Modernisms - A symposium on globalism in postwar art

Multiple Modernisms: A symposium on globalism in postwar art was organized by Louisiana Research as part of the program Multiple Modernities. In the videos from the symposium curators and researchers present new insights into modernism as an important historical horizon for the art world of today.



What is the art museum's unique potential as a research institution? In the videos from the symposium leading curators and researchers present a wide range of innovative exhibition projects combining academic research, artistic practice and the public.

Jean Tinguelys performance 'Skitse til jordens undergang', 1961. Foto: Jørn Freddie.


Multiple Modernities (2015-2019) investigates the art of the 1950s-1970s from a cultural-historical perspective, with an emphasis on newer methodological and theoretical positions. The project involves several exhibition projects at Louisiana, an international conference, as well as a three-year postdoctoral project. For more information, contact Museum Curator Marie Laurberg ( and postdoc Kristian Handberg (

The decades after the Second World War, from 1945 to 1970, were an important formative period for art and culture in which the new in a material as well as an intellectual sense had to be conquered, described and given form.

The world before, during and between the two world wars, in which the earlier Modernist movement developed, was characterized by monarchies, empires and a much more traditional image of the world in which the modern was a vision of the remote future. In contrast, the world after 1945, in the “atomic age”, “jet age” or “space age”, was in the hands of radical modern forces such as political ideologies based on realizing the dream worlds of the new, a technology with a radical scope in destruction as well as construction, and entirely new experiments in cultural forms and living arrangements, such as those expressed in the youth rebellion.

In comparison with the eurocentric pre-war world, the period also involved a new global orientation, which came to expression through Cold War organizations, the United Nations and a generally new mobility of people, goods and cultural impulses. Because of this, it is clearly appropriate to see the period as one of the most interesting culminations of the modern, one that is still undergoing changes today.

The Multiple Modernities project encompasses a number of impending exhibitions at Louisiana that focus on the art of the period from the 1950s to the 1970s and culminates in an international conference in 2017. The project involves theoretical developments that were influenced, for example, by cultural studies and globalization studies, in order to attain a broader perspective of the artistic experiments of these decades – a perspective that is of particular interest for Louisiana, whose formative years took place against precisely this cultural background (the museum opened in 1958).

The three-year postdoctoral project Multiple Modernities: World Images and Dreamworlds in Art and Culture, 1946-1972 (2015-18) by Kristian Handberg, art historian, Ph.D., is linked to the project. This academic research will explore how the new horizons of the postwar era are expressed in the arts and how we perceive the era today with new interest. Especially, the project investigates increased international circulation and exchange as key features of the postwar arts. This globalized perspective will form the topic of the conference Multiple Modernisms: a symposium on globalism in postwar art at Louisiana in 2017.

Published articles and activities: 

The postdoctoral project is supported by The New Carlsberg Foundation.

Louisiana: Architecture and Landscape

Project period: 2015-2017
Architect and architecture researcher Michael Sheridan

The project examines the transformation of the museum grounds and major building projects that have taken place since Louisiana was established.

The project will be published in a book which will include a history of the setting prior to Knud W. Jensen’s purchase of the estate, and new material that documents the sources of the original 1958 building, as well as unpublished drawings that trace the evolution of the buildings. Working with primary-source materials and interviews with the surviving architects, the author is reconstructing the history of the museum environment. By explaining the major building projects and the transformation of the setting in the context of Louisiana’s history, the author will illuminate the direct relationship between Louisiana the institution and Louisiana the place. 

How do art exhibitions work?

January 2014 – June 2016
University of Southern Denmark / Louisiana Museum of Modern Art/ARKEN Museum of Modern Art
Postdoctoral project, Exhibition Department: Mette Thobo-Carlsen

A project on performative exhibition forms and the aesthetic, social and political effects of participation.

How do art exhibitions work? This research project develops a performative approach to art, curating and culture that can address the increasing demands for museum arrangements as experience, affective engagement and dialogue-based participation.

The project focuses on participation-based curatorial practices that construct new, performative presentation spaces for more bodily and critically engaged forms of perception, experience and knowledge acquisition. The project investigates the performative aspect of the art exhibition, that is, what it does with and through its audience in the situation in which it is presented.

The exhibition’s curatorial strategy and framework position the spectator and offer specifically situated readings. How is the audience addressed, constituted, engaged and mobilized, and what aesthetic, social, political and democratic effects can active participation in the exhibition generate? How is the exhibition’s participatory potential and transformative effect on the audience and its surroundings investigated, analyzed and evaluated?

The project is based on three exhibition cases: Palle Nielsen’s Modellen, 2014, at ARKEN Museum of Modern Art; Olafur Eliasson’s Riverbed, 2014-15, at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; and Yayoi Kusama, 2015-16, at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. The project will entail the production of three articles that develop the theoretical and methodological framework for the art exhibition as a performative presentation form and its participatory modalities (aesthetic-social, bodily-affective, critical-political).

The participatory aesthetic of the exhibitions will be placed in a broader museological, culture-theoretical and cultural-political perspective, with a focus on the museum visitor’s performative role and the cultural value of museum participation.

The project is part of a larger research project, “Mod et nyt kulturbegreb og nye former for kulturformidling” (Toward a new cultural concept and new forms of cultural presentation), which runs from 2014 to 2016 and is associated with the Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark.
The project is financed by the Velux Foundation.

Travelling with art
Digital publication

The international web publication TRAVELLING WITH ART – A LEARNING PROJECT FOR REFUGEE CHILDREN presents the experiences gained from Louisianas research based educational project for refugee children: Travelling with Art.

The publication is in English and richly illustrated.

The publication includes articles by head of the Refugee Project, Line Ali Chayder, anthropologist, post-doc at Copenhagen University, Zachary Whyte, Professor Emerita, Shirley Brice Heath, from Stanford University, art educator at Louisiana, Mia Tine Bowden Christiansen, and statements from Red Cross teachers and young project participants. 

The publication describes the intentions behind Louisiana’s educational workshops for young refugee children, which began in 2006 - a project that examines how encounters with art can enhance this particular group of children and young people and create a space for contemplation, strengthen social relations and allow students to contribute with their own reflections. This is done by exploring the art together and work inspired by art's methods. The museum focuses on young people's resources and not on their temporary status as refugees.

Travelling with Art was awarded CECA Best Pactice Winner 2016 by ICOM, The International Council of Museums.

The project is supported by Ole Kirk's Fond and Knud Højgaards Fond.


In connection to the museum’s exhibition program lectures are regularly organized with highly qualified experts who are often internationally renowned in their respective field. The Louisiana Lectures contributes with in-depth knowledge and original perspectives on topics related to the exhibitions.