Title and year
Viaduct-bench-suitcase, 1996

Red and black granite

Hans Lembrecht Madsen, b. 1943

Near the old railway station, on Jernbanegade, Aabenraa


A bench, a suitcase, and part of a viaduct. Someone is on their way. Who they are and where they are going, we do not know – and therein lies the tension between the elements in this sculpture. Hans Lembrecht Madsen’s group work deals with the memory of an urban space that once existed around the Aabenraa railway, which ran as a branch line of the Vamdrup–Padborg narrow-gauge railway from 1868 to 1971. This branch line carried passengers between Rødekro and Aabenraa. Here, many a traveller sat with their luggage, waiting for a connection from Aabenraa railway station to the world beyond.

The local branch line is no longer in operation, but the yellow station building – the oldest surviving railway station in South Jutland – is listed as a protected heritage site. The sculpture’s heavy materials help us recall bygone times. You, as a viewer, can immerse yourself in history by sitting down on the bench and imagining yourself in 1910, waiting for the next outbound train. Where would you be going?