In 2022 as we’ve returned again to a physically centered art world, we want to ensure that these spaces are accessible to all; that we work to create a better environment for the physically disabled and chronically ill, who face greater obstacles and barriers to gaining resources, opportunities and navigating the art field here in Denmark.
This working group was formed to create better opportunities for artists and art workers to have access to opportunities and be able to take part in cultural life at the many inaccessible spaces that still exist in private art spaces and publicly funded art institutions that should cater to all. We need to address the outdated and insufficient guidelines (new guidelines or audits from the Danish cultural ministry have not been done since 1999, and a lacking national response to the 2021 EU report) that govern accessibility and dictate whether or not we as persons with disabilities have a right to a successful life in the arts. This needs to be done through changes to both physically access these spaces and having the freedom to operate our precarious careers without putting our needed accommodations in jeopardy.
To strive to create an environment that gives the necessary accommodations to art workers with disabilities to have access to the same opportunities and resources as our able-bodied peers.
To lift the burden off the shoulders of disabled individuals and demand that the art institutions, ministries, and political entities take up their rightful responsibility to guarantee we as individuals with disabilities have the adequate opportunities to both participate in cultural life and succeed in our art careers as if we were able-bodied.
To create awareness both inside and outside of the art field of the barriers we face, and what action the public can take to help in this struggle.
To increase representation and visibility of work by artists with disabilities shown to the public and the inclusion of workers with disabilities at every level within the art field.
To eliminate the resistant attitude that plagues the Danish art field when it comes to enacting accessibility measures and instead encourage a general attitude that is open to change.
As it currently stands artists and art workers with disabilities are in no way able to access a life or career in the art world anywhere close to their able-bodied colleagues. This is a result of institutional, legal, and political failures; in our first two years, we plan to bring these shortcomings to the attention of politicians so that there are adequate resources and mandates for these art institutions to meet our needs. By raising awareness of the issues in the law, we hope that the Ministry of Culture will revisit the guidelines from ‘97, and thus have a set of new guidelines made, which will help the art institutions to introduce better accessibility than the current one.
Are we disabled artists, are we artists with disabilities, are we separating physical from mental disabilities? For us, this is an ongoing process to discuss and create a larger conversation, disabilities and our individual physical and mental conditions are extremely personal.
We know that there are many different conditions that require different needs of help. We, therefore, want with the group to gather knowledge about different situations, conditions, and disabilities, so that we can get as many nuances as possible, and in the end, hopefully, be able to help as many art workers as possible.
This working group consists of Anthony Dexter Giannelli, Victor Vejle, Luna Scales, Frederik Rørmann, Dagmar Büchert and Fabian Wigren.
Anthony Dexter Giannelli is a visual artist and writer who uses a mix of personal and culturally significant materials and iconography to explore fluidity, trauma, and authenticity. His practice reimages a life-altering encounter with water through the lens of Latin American and European religious icons and visual language. Each image is meant to guide in a journey of discovering the struggles and fluidity that arise when physically disabled bodies with burgeoning inner worlds are meant to exist in and interact with an outer world based heavily on physicality.
Victor Vejle is currently studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, his work is based on ongoing research of how, or if disability and injuries can be linked to changes in the contemporary art scene and in society in general. Through various media including installation and video, based on his own experiences, Victor questions if it is possible to change how social and institutional structures define bodies between normal functioning and broken; how these categories should be erased and replaced with the diverse shades of what we consider as normality or functionality.
Luna Scales graduated as a visual artist from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2020. Her artistic practice reflects a consistent interest in and references to the iconography of western art history, which comes to expression through photographs and videos of the female body in particular, patterns of movement and directions of the gaze. Scales often portrays herself, playing in her works with the public’s ideas of physical functional abilities. In so doing she questions these very notions, and in this connection also simultaneously presents a critique of the gaze at and notions about the body.
Frederik Rørmann is an art history student graduating in 2022. His recent research revolves around visual representations of differently-abled people throughout history, and how contemporary art by disabled artists, contribute to reshaping the established ideas of how differently-abled people can inhabit the world today. He has previously worked at various Danish institutions and initiatives such as Kunsthal Charlottenborg, CHART, and AltCph 18._
If you are interested in learning more or joining our work please contact us at email@example.com. We are always open to dialogue, suggestions, and perspectives on accessibility within the art field.