“It was through the philosopher Anne Marie Pahuus, University of Aarhus, (Dept. of Philosophy) that I initially learned about Hannah Arendt. And immediately I grew fond of her thinking. The way in which she is both philosophical and concrete. Both analytical and considerate. Insisting that we create a decent community and in the same time remain independent free individuals.
When I heard that 2006 would be the centenary of Arendt, I decided to make a tribute to her.
This installation, this house for judgement, is an attempt to promote Arendt in three dimensions, to investigate her philosophy in a practical field. I chose judgement because it was an essential subject for Arendt. And because it still is, for us today, more than ever.
I thought that it would be in the mind of Arendt to find examples, not via historical characters, as she did it herself, but via living Danes.
I have asked a number of people to tell me about a situation where they have used their judgement well, or where it did not go so well. A situation from public space, because it was mainly this common, political space that had Arendt´s interest. This could mean situations from where people work or from their volunteer work, in politics etc.
My inspiration for these talks have been a handful of sentences, extracted from my readings of Arendt, that we have painted on the outside of the house. Inside you will find four listening posts where people talk about judgement.
People have talked to me about having doubts and about taking responsibility. To fail, and dare to fail and hope for forgiveness for your faults, learn from them and become better in using your judgement.
It's like a muscle: you learn to exercise your sense of judgement by using it, to practice and that can also mean to fail.
There is a saying: “Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement”
It is only you who can teach yourself to use your judgement, you can't learn it from anybody else.
My little inquiry has been encouraging and it shows that there is hope for our community, our democracy: people still have the ability to think for them selves. But there is need for good examples, because judgement it always threatened. It is an ongoing effort to make good decisions.
Thank you to all who took part, you are the bricks of this house.”