Forming a circle*

The practice of Forsøgsscenen (the Experimental Stage) in the self-organised political-artistic milieu of 1930s Denmark


  • Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt



Forsøgsscenen (The Experimental Stage, 1929-31) is examined as a historically early example of com­munity-organising artistic practice. By analysing Forsøgsscenen based on cultural objects such as their production of a little magazine, their distribution policy and their infrastructural performance, the scholarly inquiry is shifted from the reception of the artwork in theatre history, towards approaching a materialist understanding of Forsøgsscenen's production aesthetic contribution in avant-garde history. Historiographically, a comparativist perspective is employed, which finds kinship both between collective organisations in the 1930s and kinship with contemporary concepts of self-institutionalisation as counterculture: redistributive, political and institution-forming prac­tices that unfold as a response to the common art institutions in late capitalism.


Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt

Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt is assistant professor and deputy director of the New Carlsberg Foundation research centre Art as Forum at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen. She has published articles in, among others, Journal of Nordic Theatre Studies, Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ephemera – theory and politics in organization and The Drama Review, and contributed to the international field of performance art by curating the festival WORKS AT WORK and instituting CURRICULUM, a public school of performance art in Copenhagen.


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Ullerup Schmidt, C. (2023). Forming a circle*: The practice of Forsøgsscenen (the Experimental Stage) in the self-organised political-artistic milieu of 1930s Denmark. Peripeti, 20(38), 102–113.