No Title (EU Poster Project)

Posters for “Minority Report: Challenging Intolerance in Contemporary Denmark” by Martin Krenn & Oliver Ressler


No Title (EU Poster Project), banner, 4 x 4 m, 2004

No Title (EU Poster Project, 2004) was produced for “Minority Report: Challenging Intolerance in Contemporary Denmark”, an exhibition held across multiple locations in Aarhus, Denmark in 2004. The work highlights the reliance of capitalism on gender and race division.

Empty wall from which the banner was stolen
The label remains on the wall from which the banner was stolen

One version of this work was presented as a 4 x 4 m large banner on the facade of The Equestrian Hall in Aarhus, where a part of the exhibition took place. During the night of September 24-25, 2004 – one day before the opening of “Minority Report” – it was taken down and stolen by an unknown person/group.

The second version of this work was produced as a poster (175 x 118,5 cm) for display in 90 city light boxes in Aarhus during the week of October 18-24, 2004. But the billboard company AFA JCDecaux rejected to present the billboards to the public. They claimed it is not possible to present a work that uses the logo with the 12 stars of the European Union, because it was a copyright violation. It is obvious that the company and Aarhus Municipality did not want to present the poster in their city light boxes because of its political content.

No Title (EU Poster Project), poster, 175 x 118,5 cm, 2004
One of 90 posters in city lightboxes in Aarhus that could only be presented after three stars of the EU Logo got covered. (photo: Tone Olaf Nielsen)

The text on the banner and billboard posters read:

“The ruling principle of capitalism legitimizes itself by means of two contrary ideologies: on the one hand the universalistic claim of the competitive society and on the other hand racism and sexism. Capitalism’s non-redeemable promise of equality is in need of ideologies of inequality like racism. Racism makes legitimate the existing relations of inequality in capitalism and thereby contributes to its reproduction. Anti-racist practice should therefore always also aim at the demontage of the capitalist system.”

The artists stated: “It is a shame that the city of Aarhus rejects to make our billboards available to the public in their 90 city lightboxes, although they agreed to do so at an earlier stage. The theft of our banner before the opening of Minority Report and the reaction of Aarhus Municipality to censor our anti-racist art work seem to be linked to the political situation in Denmark. The existing dominant image of the right-wing politics of exclusion in Denmark unfortunately has been confirmed through this action.”

No Title (EU Poster Project), poster, 175 x 118,5 cm, 2004/2016. Installation view: “Who Throws Whom Overboard?” (solo show), SALT Galata, Istanbul, 2016

After pressure by media like TV Denmark, radio stations and newspapers and an intervention by Oliver Ressler and Martin Krenn to destroy three stars of the EU Logo on the poster Aarhus Municipality had to give in. The posters were finally installed in 90 light boxes throughout downtown Aarhus. The very weak excuse to censor the work because of a “copyright violation” was undermined by the intervention from the artists.