'Tisseren' ('The Pee-er') - Atlas Obscura

'Tisseren' ('The Pee-er')

An unconventional and naturalistic sculpture depicting the artist marking his territory on an exterior faculty wall. 

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Upon first sight, Claus Carstensen’s 2005 bronze sculpture, Tisseren (“The Pee-er”), positioned by a red brick wall outside Copenhagen’s academic Panum Building, may appear lifelike. Approaching the urinating male figure shifts initial amusement to awe, revealing meticulous details reminiscent of a street-performing human statue. The result is a surreal encounter with this naturalistic public artwork.

Beyond its visual impact, Carstensen’s sculpture delves into the theme of “territories.” The figure, a self-replica of the artist, captures a unique aspect of human experience—marking territory. This bronze imprint can be seen as a commentary on power, self-expression, and human instincts, challenging traditional expectations of outdoor art.

The Panum Institute garnered praise from prominent art personalities in Denmark for its decision to install Claus Carstensen’s provocative sculpture. They considered it both bold and modest, especially noteworthy as it involved approving a figure that appears to relieve himself on the academic institution’s own building.

Tisseren belongs to a group of three sculptures by Carstensen. The other two, situated a few feet away, similarly portray the artist. One is shown standing on a chair, assertively pointing towards the world as if asserting ownership (‘The Pointer’). The other is seated in contemplation, hands over its head, immersed in an internal struggle (‘The Crouched One’).

Know Before You Go

Located outside the Panum Building, home to the Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, ‘Tisseren’ is accessible 24/7. Reach it by bus (no. 6A, 15E, 150S, 184, or 185) to the nearby Nørre Campus (Tagensvej) bus stop or catch the red M3 circle line metro to Nørrebros Runddel, followed by a 15-minute walk from the station.

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