Peter Voss-Knude is a Danish artist and composer who has written a pop music record in collaboration with an army, The Danish Armed Forces. During the tree month residence at the Grimmuseum, Peter Voss-Knude will write new music, hereby drawing on his longstanding relation to the army and his research on the interconnectedness between power, masculinity, language and war informed by the German writer and sociologist Klaus Theweleit.
The thematic scope of the songs from the previous two albums range from loyalty, to a young man’s first kill, to wanting to go back to war, to loathing civilian life and to the difficulty of addressing love between men. These controversial topics, not commonly and openly voiced by the soldier, are what the artist seeks to unfold. Peter Voss-Knude has gone to great lengths to understand the rituals of war by initiating a relationship between himself and the army: In 2014 he was given a unique access to an army base. At the Guard Hussar Regiment Barrack in Denmark he was granted a studio in a room just next to the tank workshops, to write songs in. He was also given permission to organize discussions with soldiers to exchange views on various topics such as the world’s first war poem, The Iliad, and on ethical representations of war.
The music records are threaded with stories from three protagonists Nikolaj, Tobias and Thomas, who have all been on deployment in Afghanistan. Voss-Knude considers the soldiers as co-authors of the music, as band members in an unusual art collective. After several years of research, friendships having ensued, wherein he has come to wonder and express what fears the soldiers encounter, during and after deployment, what motivations might direct their deeds and what the consequences of uncompromised loyalty between soldiers might have.
Peter Voss-Knude (b. 1987 in Copenhagen, DK) lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin. He studied Fine Art & Art History at Goldsmiths University, London, UK. He has exhibited and performed concerts at Last Tango (with Fiona Banner), Zurich, CH (2017); National Galllery, Copenhagen, DK (2017); Code Art Fair, Copenhagen, DK (2017); Overgarden, Copenhagen, DK (2017); National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, DK (2016); Counter Space, Zurich, CH (2015), amongst others.