CUDI 2000-2002

CUDI/Centre for Urban culture, Dialogue and Information
 was established in an apartment in Vollsmose, Odense, in the summer of 2000 by Lasse Lau and Lise Skou



Who we are
CUDI was established in an apartment in Vollsmose, Odense, in the summer of 2000. Vollsmose is bounded on the outskirt of the city and has a multicultural climate – 60% of the 10.000 inhabitants have a foreign ethnic background, divided between 78 different nationalities. The apartment is our private home and the residence of visiting artists but it also houses various exhibitions and art projects. Furthermore the apartment forms a framework for talks, films, evenings of various social activities.
CUDI function as a platform for development of ideas, art projects and exhibitions within sociality, contemporary art and -culture.
CUDI deliberately operates in the crossfield between art, architecture and social activities, acknowledging the fact that contemporary art, society, shaping of space and critical reflection today make a coherent field of meaning.
A common denominator for CUDI’s multifarious projects is to influence the shaping of public spaces while enthusiastically seeking a dialogue with the community in order to establish a platform for social gathering, for dialogue, analysis, critical thinking and the generation of ideas.

What we want
We want to create a meeting-place for the many ethnic groups who live in this community. CUDI’s many varied activities all take their starting point in the social and cultural conditions and premises of the area. It is important that we and the visiting artists carry the projects through in collaboration with the other residents and base the projects on their ideas, needs and wishes. The keyword is dialogue. We want to accentuate the resources of the area. We want to establish a forum where a dialogue can take place, where ideas are generated, projects are created and visions arise.

CUDI is a reaction to the medias representation of a reality that is in opposition to ethnic minorities.
CUDI is a reaction to the authorities marginalisation of social loaded families.
CUDI wants to change or displace existing social norms and structures to obtain more cultural visibility and democratic equality. Through formation of network CUDI wants to encourage and strengthen the identity of the area.

CUDI/ Lasse Lau & Lise Tovesdatter Skou August 2000

City Community Garden – a modelproject.

May 2001.

Cudi is trying to transform ecological ideas into concrete projects for in this way to make Vollsmose a better place to live.

Cudi is interested in creating and design spaces that involve the the people living and using the spaces concerned.

Community Garden – a modelproject is a proposal for how inapplicable areas in a neighbourhood like Vollsmose can be incorporated and transformed into a useful area.

In this project Cudi has made a network of residents who are going to establish, develop and take care of the garden in the future. The project is based on a discussion about democracy and freedom to form and construct any situation or space that you could imagine. The project pose questions about what society this kind of democracy would create?

Mobile tea-house – a model for a meeting-place .

June 2001.

After a lot of talking with a group of people living in Vollsmose about social meeting places we realised that a mobile tea-house could provide the physical space for town meetings and social platforms that currently are non-existing in Vollsmose.

We decided to create a teahouse based on openness and active participation from the local community. The mobility was important in order to break down the barriers inside of Vollsmose as well as in propotion to the world outside the area.

The teahouse is a flexible thing that moves around the area. The users of the teahouse can change the interior and design and add something new and rebuilt it depending on the situation and the needs of the users.

The intention, is to create a new kind of public space that is in dialogue with the environment and functions in interaction with and influenced by its surroundings.

There will regularly be held town meetings, where different topics and problems can be discussed. Furthermore, the participants in the tea-house project can on a regular basis meet, talk and agress on the use and placing of the teahouse. The intention behind the mobile teahouse is to create a network that transcends the limits of Vollsmose. The teahouse will serve as a connector between different people.

Collaborating projects with visiting artists.

To maintain a level of dynamics and a critical point of view Cudi has invited a number of guest-artists to come and live together with us in Vollsmose, and in that period of time, carry through a project in collaboration with people living in Vollsmose or a site-specific project based on the premises of the area.

The artists invited are: Marianne Bramsen, Luxus, Thomas, Fos, Nils Norman and Jakob Jakobsen, Olafur Gislason, Jens Haaning, Katya Sander, Jakob Kolding, Nynne Haugaard and Nikolaj Kilsmark, Linda Hilfling and Christoffer Gansing, Rebbecca Arthy and Mikkel Stubgaard.


Cudi – a text by Simon Sheikh

The establishment of Cudi points towards a crux of dilemmas and potentials for a contemporary social and political motivated aesthetic thinking. It will be right to say, that Cudi is placed in the crossing between different categories; artistic practice and social activism, nationality and locality; politics and atheistic.

According to Cudi, their work is intiated “as a reaction to the media’s construction and representation of a picture of reality opposed to the ethical minorities”. In other words, Cudi rise from a crisis in the representation. A crisis concerning a reactionary definition of Danishness and the consequential outlimiting, demonialization and even criminalization of otherness. A crisis concerning representation of ‘Danishness’ as something original (which of course never has been anything but a phantasm). This fictive, fragile’Danishness’ seeks support by a negative representation of anything that can be defined as ‘different’ and thereby non-Danish in the mass media and everyday life. We are here dealing with a complex psychological logic of constructing an identity and we demand investments. A logic that in a contemporary political sense, finds perhaps its best expression in Slavoj Zizek’s description of a national identity as a symbolic identification that organises the demands and desires in a united, national life style. This nationality exists only to the extent that the members of the nation invest a vow of fidelity in it…….


visual artist

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