CONJECTURE was invited by The Forgotten Follies of Sølyst , which were cast in a ruined state within the wooded grounds of Sølyst Castle. The  follies consisted of a series of oversized and dismembered classical architectural elements cast in white concrete. A collapsed colonnade caused visitors to stray from the castle’s manicured lawns into the surrounding woodland where they in turn stumbled upon The Forgotten Follies of Sølyst.

The giant flutings, ruined columns, emerging dome and hieroglyphic details that comprised the follies took inspiration from the dreamlike, eroticised architectural descriptions in Francesca Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Polyphili. Like Polyphilo, that book’s protagonist, visitors to the follies were invited to decipher the fragments that were left behind and build  meanings into their gaps.

“We were intrigued by the museum’s unarchived transport cases that we discovered in the attic. They afforded room for conjecture. With no record existing of what the cases once contained, we were invited to hazard guesses, based on the imprints, materials and negative forms within. Our work, The Forgotten Follies of Sølyst were a set of traces of a fictional narrative that were, quite literally, made concrete in the beech woodlands of Jyderup. The Forgotten Follies were demolished, and now only exist as an imprint in the undergrowth and the odd overlooked white flake on the forest floor. What remains now is a trace of those traces – the formworks that were used to cast the Forgotten Follies. Their empty interior spaces have shaped the giant flutings and columns of the follies and hold the promise of recreating them elsewhere in the future.”


“There are now no Forgotten Follies of Sølyst to stumble upon for the wanderer on Sølyst Castle’s grounds. Only the empty shapes of the formwork from which they came remember them. To the rest of us they are like illegible memos. The transport cases from the museum’s attic murmur a similar story. They are like the indecipherable ravings of the grieving parent surviving the child. These negative spaces are the opposite of Pascal’s terror, the vacuum. Their absence is specific rather than total. They insist on remaining the placeholders for something else now lost. But recreating the Follies would not revive them, only substitute them. Insisting and indomitable though the shapes may be the shapes share the fate of Poliphilo’s beloved Polia: ‘A flower so dry never revives’.”

“Human bodies…move in the world, leaving traces…rustling, footsteps, murmurings, coughs, sighs, echoes, winks, sweat, tears. Their freedom is a material freedom by which they decompose whatever nature they were given and whatever form culture put on them, leaving the lines their fingers or feet dance in the streets or the fields, scattering their colours in the sunlight and shadows.”


We know very little about these carefully shaped transport cases as they are not formally part of the museum’s collection and their provenance is unrecorded. Their exact purpose and age are unknown. What strange artefacts have they contained? We have only their absence to glean it from. They are liminal objects, occupying a dusky place between being museum artefacts and not being museum artefacts. Their pregnant emptiness wavers like a reflection, or a dream upon waking, and we can only exclaim with Poliphilo as he prepares to describe the wondrous architecture of his dreamscape: “I am fully justified in saying that nothing like these magnificent works has ever been thought of or seen by the eye of man in the whole wide world. I can state with confidence that human knowledge, together with the greatest talent and capacity, could not attain such audacity in the art and artifice of building, nor even think of it.”