GIUSEPPE L. BONIFATI and LINDA SUGATAGHY are two artists from Italy and Hungary who intend to live as candidates for Mayor, under the names of JEPPE AND FIRST LADY, between January 2016 and June 2017 in the town of Holstebro.
The purpose is an artistic and esthetic interaction between the citizens and Mayor Jeppe and First Lady. They want to visit families and institutions in different parts of the town. Each month the two artists will concentrate on a specific theme, for example economy, education, health, environment, public works or housing. The project will culminate and end during the Holstebro Festuge in June 2017 whose title is THE WILD WEST. ROOTS AND SHOOTS: RE/THINK.
During the artistic residency Giuseppe L. Bonifati and Linda Sugataghy, will visit door-by-door the citizens of Holstebro, offering their GRATIS services and help according to the theme of the month. At the end of each month, there will be a collective performance related to the actual theme involving local associations and institutions. The Spanish performer ALBERTO M. GUINALDO is a permanent collaborator and he will participate in these monthly events. After devoting 2015 to learning the Danish language and culture, the project will start with Jeppe performing a theatrical ‘official speech’ to the people of the town.
The motivation behind this interactive project is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the HOLSTEBRO CULTURAL PROJECT initiated in 1966 by the Mayor KAI K. NIELSEN and the Municipal Director JENS JOHANSEN, the same year that Maren and Odin Teatret settled in town, and the Art Museum and Music School started their activities. This motivation is presented in a fictive letter from Kai K. Nielsen and Jens Johansen and sent to Jeppe encouraging him to realize this new project.
The name of the “Mayor Jeppe’s” party is KUNSTPARTIET, addressing Danes and non-Danes, artists and non-artists, residents and non-residents. The aim of Kunst Partiet is THE PURSUIT OF BEAUTY THROUGH ART.
Kunstpartiet is an artistic project. It aims to show the hidden side of politics and expose the transformative power of imagination when realized through an audacious artistic policy.
Kunstpartiet’s candidate for Mayor is JEPPE. Together with his First Lady Linda, JEPPE will live in a house which combines the artistic (the superfluous which illuminates daily life) and the social (the worries of daily life). JEPPE and Linda will make visible their life as a couple and, at the same time, will interact with the town’s citizens according to the conventions of art and fantasy. Citizens will be able to spy, physically or through a camera, visit or play in the Kunstpartiet Huset (Bomhuset) and experience what is normally hidden in politics. The House as a symbol is an integral part of the artistic project which includes monthly performances, daily activities in schools and institutions, and door-to-door contact with the town’s inhabitants.
Kunstpartiet Huset should not be considered the hideout of the Party, but “the alcove of Anthony and Cleopatra”, the home of a man and a woman, Jeppe and Linda, two foreigners striving to be integrated into Danish society. The dream of becoming Mayor and First Lady is a pretext to come into contact with people from different milieus and, through an artistic interaction, reflect on otherness – a condition which Holstebro shares with the rest of Europe.