Henrik Vestergaard

Works for Live Art Danmark
Henrik is one of the founders and directors of Live Art Denmark and takes part in developing and producing all projects of our company. His artistic contributions to the various programs include:
Of more than 30 performances Henrik produced as Zarathustras Onkel, the following were shown in Live Art Danmark’s programs:
2004 “Gerüstbauficken” at Berliner Luft 1
2005 “We Come in Peace” at Berliner Luft 2
2007 Remake of “Fingernumret”, part of the Kanon project, at Berliner Luft 3
2012 “Full Stop”, part of the Kanon project, at Samtalekøkken
Since 2016 More than 100 shows of 50 Farlige Ting (alle børn bør prøve)

Zarathustras Onkel
Zarathustras Onkel was used by Henrik Vestergaard Friis as an alter ego and a label for his solo and group performances. Between 2002 and 2012 he used the name to produce and perform around 30 different pieces around the world.

Henrik invented his own sexual deviation, a passion for intercourse with scaffolding. He found plenty of his fetish material on the construction sites for the new German capital in post-unification Berlin around the turn of the millenium. A video illustrating the practice was shot there under precarious conditions. A live version of “Gerüstbauficken” was performed at our first Berliner Luft festival.


Videostill: Svend Thomsen

We Come in Peace
“We Come in Peace” was a performance with live sound and video, based on Orson Welles’ “The War of the Worlds”. It featured robot vacuum cleaners cast as UFOs, electronic noise, found text, talking hamsters, live 3D effects and the complete destruction of a small scale model of the center of every city the piece was performed in, which had to be meticulously hand crafted for every show. The performance toured extensively and was  part of the program of Berliner Luft 2. To promote the Copenhagen shows, Henrik and co-performer Jörn Burmester Wium went on TV!

Videostill: Svend Thomsen

Zonkels Kanon
In early 2006 Danish cultural ministry published a canon, containing the most important cultural achievements and artworks created throughout  Denmark’s existence. 96 pieces and works ranging from architecture, design to stage art were selected to prove the greatness of Danish culture, or maybe rather: how great Danes are. Read more here:

Click to access z_e_book_2.pdf

In fall of 2006 Zarathustras Onkel started his most ambitious project, an examination of all pieces that were included in the section on performing arts of the Danish Culture Canon. He did not re-perform or copy the pieces, but set out to grasp their essence in contemporary performative versions. The prtoject took ten years to finish, but by 2016 there were Zonkel versions of all the greatest works of Danish performing culture, from Bournonville ballets to Sort Sol concerts, some as small interventions, others as large scale productions.

Zonkel’s version of Dirch Passers Fingernummeret from 1974 was performed at Berliner Luft 3.

For a special edition of Samtalekøkken in the Theatre Museum of Copenhagen, Henrik performed “Full Stop” to mark of the finnissage of his exhibition there in 2012. Later that year, the exhibition was presented at Grimm Museum, Berlin.

Zonkels Kanon is documented in a video by Thomas Martius and Benjamin Bayer, and in an e-book with lots of photos and background information.

50 Farlige Ting (alle børn bør prøve)
Henrik performs in Live Art Denmark’s most popular show to date, where he invites children to engage in potentially harmful behaviour together with Daniel Norback. It has seen more than 100 performances around Denmark and is still shown regularly.

50 Farlige Ting (alle børn bør prøve)

Om liveart_dk

Liveart.dk was founded in 2004 in Copenhagen to promote the discussion, documentation and development of live art in Denmark. The organisation is equally inspired by the imaginative and entertaining English Live Art tradition as by the theoretical and political German theatre tradition. We have organised 10 large international festivals of Live Art for kids and adults since 2004, and over 40 discussion events, books, video series, symposia and more in the field of live art, performance art, art criticism and documentation. We collaborate with theatres, music venues, art museums and festivals in Denmark and internationally.