It’s quite astonishing that even the theoretical discussions of an avant-garde movement of the late 1940s are dominated by questions of the national. Especially Asger Jorns writings show to which extent the corresponding debates are contingent on vitalistic arguments of the late 19th century. The northern folklore and popular art is defined in opposition to classical Roman and French culture and the idea of myth as popular practice often corresponds with fantasies of a Dionysian celebration of the community.
One could say that Jorns reception of Old Norse myth in this way doubtless reminds of corresponding attempts to define norse culture in the late 19th and early 20th century. But his ambivalent strategy of reception even includes more interesting aspects. Particularly Jorns concept of détournement shows to which extent he tries to subvert his one idea of the authenticity and originality of national tradition. In combining this practical strategy of détournement with theoretical reflexions Jorn develops a theory of myth-transmission that could serve as an interesting theoretical basis for studying the specific performativity and mediality of myths.