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Thom Ravnholdt is a costume designer and maker, pattern cutter, and a multi-skilled creative working in many media.

9 September 2009

The dunst Years

In the early to mid noughties, I was part of the notorious and infamous Copenhagen based dunst collective (it is spelled with a lower-case d, and yes, it means 'really fuckin bad smell' in Danish).
dunst was (and to some degree still is) an art collective, compiled of a performance group, a dj group, a film group, and so on.

dunst started as a counter movement to Copenhagen's increasingly rigid and conformist gay community, dunst brought the real meaning of the word 'Queer' to Copenhagen. The performance group in particular made a name for itself, and the notoriously debauched dunst parties turned Copenhagens boring nightlife upside down. We did shows everywhere from the dirtiest of nightclubs to intellectual university lectures on gender studies, from the smelliest squats in Berlin and Amsterdam, to Danish National TV and at one point our own TV show.

Throughout Europe and Scandinavia, we spread our grime and glitter, leaving audiences flabbergasted and confused as to what they were witnessing. Every performer made their own original music, and we performed our shows as big visual plays with narratives and drama supporting the tracks.

No taboos were too dark or embarrassing, our live shows often contained piss, penetration, cat fights, vomiting, drug taking, food and masturbation - and worse. Underneath the make-up and costumes, everything was hyper real!

Getting into art college in London in 2004, I moved to London and thus left the dunst guys behind too. For further information on what they get up to, and for loads more pictures, videos and history, visit
All pics are of me and friends, all my own make-up and costumes.

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