The Queen

As tradition dictates, Charlottenborg held its annual spring exhibition at the beginning of 2023 – a tradition that has existed since 1857.

Charlottenborg. Photo Per Jan

During the opening in February, where many art enthusiasts were present, a piece of art suddenly appeared that could not avoid attracting the attention of a cartomancer.

The Queen, (2022). Jørn Hulgaard Sørensen. Photo Per Jan

The piece, created by artist Jørn Hulgaard Sørensen and called “The Queen, (2022)”, consisted of a series of playing cards from all four suits, which were folded and arranged in such a way as to give a special spatial and plastic sensation. The royal cards in each suit were arranged to form a broad figure, but upon closer inspection, it turned out that only one queen was present in the artwork – namely the queen of hearts. She was surrounded by the jack of hearts, not the king of hearts, and the cartomancer wondered where the other queens had gone.

The Queen. Detail. Photo Per Jan

Normally, it is not the nature of the queen of hearts to chase away the other queens. It would have been more natural if the queen of spades was the only queen. She is often associated with being powerful, rivalrous, and calculating. But how had the queen of hearts ended up in this situation? The cartomancer left the question hanging and decided instead to investigate the queen of hearts’ fundamental role in a card spread. Not viewed from the perspective of the artwork or the cards seen as playing cards, but purely principle in a card spread when reading the cards. The queen of hearts is typically associated with love, care, family relations, mercy, and creativity, but the card reader was curious to hear what she herself thought of her role.

What is the role of the Queen of Hearts?

The answer came promptly, shown with the cards ace of diamonds and 7 of diamonds: The queen of hearts gives life and power to dreams and longings. The numbers 1 and 7 add up to 8, and the queen of hearts’ wish is to help distinguish between realistic and unrealistic dreams and longings.

It is a thought-provoking consideration that can be interpreted in several ways. Perhaps the queen of hearts represents a kind of guide or mentor who can help us distinguish between our innermost dreams and the opportunities that are realistic and achievable. Or maybe the artwork “The Queen” shows us that even though there is only one queen present, she can still have great significance and influence on the surrounding cards. It is up to the individual to interpret and reflect on.

Cards used in the spread: Hermès, Paris 1952. Artist, Cassandra

Update 09-05-2023: The artist has written the following comments about the artwork on Instagram: Not everyone becomes a king / Not all boys will grow to men – someone will be a Queen / from prince to King or from prince to Queen.