Sunday, 4 May 2014

"Candles in the Windows at 20:36"


In the evening on May 4, 1945 it was announced on the illegal radio from London that the German troops in Northern Europe had surrendered. Most Danes today know the message to an extent they can even copy the crackles and buzzings, which accompanied the original radio message.

Back then everyone took to the streets in jubilant spontaneity, climbing onto everything, even conquering the roofs of the trams at the Town Hall Square, making as much noise as possible in the process, and tonight we will be placing candles on the window sills to commemorate the return of the light that very evening.

Per Marquard Otzen, Candles in the Windows at 20:36, May 4, 2014.


Per Marquard Otzen lets us take a look back while pausing at the window before lightening the candles. We see a section of the Town Hall Square with the building of his own paper, Politiken, while the cables for the tram combine the jubilant to the rest of the town beyond.

He is playing with us. Window panes have a pictorial history of letting two worlds see the existence of the other and yet making the transgression impossible. *Cough* it has even been the symbol of Virgin Mary *cough*. The other is there and not quite there at the same time, setting off dreams, quests - and all the rest of what characterises the lives of mankind.

But what makes this drawing so playfully elegant, is how the picture plane presents itself to us as being of the same reality as ourselves. It is not a layer before us, separating us from history. It is part of our own presence. The line across of the wooden mullion boldly states how the scene back then is of another reality, even if the two of them share the same physical plane.

Layers of presence and reality of which we can never be part of both, and yet the window fastening is off its hook. The window is open. Their darkness is our darkness today.


I bought candles on Friday, we are ready for nightfall. The drawing is courtesy of Per Marquard Otzen and must not be reproduced without his permission.


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