In 2013, the idea of rebuilding the existing biographical Hans Christian Andersen Museum into a “House of Fairytales” was still forming.
I was given the task of creating an installation, which should 1) be based on a fairytale, 2) show how the museum was moving in a new direction representing the legacy of the fairytale author, and 3) be used as research into this new way of working with Hans Christian Andersen. At the same time, it was also important to leave room for us still to find our feet and the true direction of the new museum.
Not an easy task!
My solution was to create something that was a juxtaposition of the rest of the museum. Whereas the rest of the museum was obsessed with facts, Andersen’s fairytales provide a place of wonder and questioning.
This aspect was explored together with interactiondesign company Kollision.
Together we created a world based on the underwater world of the little mermaid. A world in between realism and the artificiality of the papercut. A strange place quite unlike previous cultural and historical representations of the underwater world of the mermaid, where time seems suspended in that very moment where everything seems on the verge of becoming something else.
As I overheard a child say to his friends from school when visiting: “It is strange, it is both cosy and scary at the same time.”