Exhibition: Big night down the drain – Claus Carstensen & Manuel Ocampo
2 Jun 20231 Jul 2023

Marie Kirkegaard Gallery. Claus Carstensen & Manuel Ocampo, Collaborative Paintings, Shibboleth Exhibition 39, 2011. Foto: Claus Carstensen

A memory fragment
By: Claus Carstensen

Late on a Wednesday evening in March 2009, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen and Nikolaj Recke called me, as they had a visit that evening by the Filipino artist Manuel Ocampo. They asked if I had the time to get a couple of beers with them. Lilibeth told me that she had met Manuel during her stays in the Philippines, and that Manuek knew my works from the catalog The São Paulo Project abd Related Work 1992-94, which he happened to come across while he was living in San Francisco back in the early 1990s. As I have been a big fan of his work since I saw his paintings in the Helter Skelter catalog and at Documenta 9, I went over to Lilibeth and Nikola’s, where we sat and talked late into the night. The following year, I happened to meet Manuel again at the art fair Volta in Basel, where he was hanging out with the Australian artist David Griggs.

Shortly after, I was invited to participate in the exhibition with the wild title Painting with a Hammer to Nail the Crotch of Civilization – A Group Show of Wall Works and Tatoo Imagery, that Manuel had curated at Manila Contemporary. I flew to the Philippines, where the Spanish artist Curro Gonzales, who also participated in the exhibition, his wife Carmen and I were accommodated in the gallerist, Valentine Willie’s huge apartment with a housekeeper, private driver and a view over Manila harbor. It was an insanely intense work stay of two weeks, where I met a large number of artists whose work made a big impact on me, and who I have later been able to involve in my curatorial projects. When I landed in Copenhagen again on November 22nd, there were an unimaginable amount of snow everywhere. I was so down with a pneumonia and two subsequent viral infections that I wasn’t back to full strength until the beginning of March 2011.

Soon after, I suggested Marie Kirkegaard to make an exhibition of Manuel’s drawings in her newly opened gallery, which was then called SOD – Space of Drawings. The exhibition opened on Friday September 30th, 2011. Manuel came to Copenhagen before the exhibition opening and stayed for a week. We had two days working on the collaborative paintings in my studio, which were shortly afterwards exhibited in the studio as Shibboleth Exhibition #30, entitled Collaborative Paintings, and a very modest attendees from October 4th to the 24th. Subsequently, Manuel has hd two more solo shows with Marie, one in May 2913 and one in April 2016.

Marie’s gallery re-opened on May 3rd, 2013 – with Manuel’s second solo show with her – in the extended premises under the new name Marie Kirkegaard Gallery, and she is now marking her 10th anniversary with a re-enactment of the joint paintings that Manuel and I painted in 2011 – which in a way is also a kind of odd anniversary in itself.

2 Jun – 1 Jul 2023
Tue-Fri 12-17.30
Sat 12-15

Free entrance


Find Art Week programme for Marie Kirkegaard Gallery here


Marie Kirkegaard Gallery
Holbergsgade 17C
1057 København K

Level-free access – no
Handicap toilet – no
Free for companion – yes


Exhibition: Big night down the drain – Claus Carstensen & Manuel Ocampo
2 Jun 20231 Jul 2023


'Exhibition: Big night down the drain - Claus Carstensen & Manuel Ocampo'