MR. JEPPE BENTZEN – ABOUT THE POWER OF WORDS
A new editorial is here. Join us when we talk to Mr. Jeppe Bentzen about the power of words and how they actually dress at Christiansborg.
All photos by Victor Jones.
We joined forces with one of our good friend. Namely, Jeppe Bentzen. Jeppe knows a thing or two about words. He actually make a living out of it. Likewise, every time we see this great guy, he is pretty dressed up. Not in classic suits and stuff, but in woolen trousers, knitted ties and double breasted blazer’s. Thus it was a natural course of event to sit down with him to talk about style and words. So, he ended up inviting us into Christiansborg. Join us in our Q&A session and editorial.
Jeppe, explain why we are at Christiansborg?
Well, partly because I like working from here and partly because the historical frames are one of this city’s most beautiful surroundings. Christiansborg Castle and the entire Slotsholmen have an amazing history. In my opinion, it’s incredible that we have such a magnificent building to accommodate our parliament in the middle of our capital.
Every time I biked past it when I first came to the city, I imagined having my daily course here one day. I still do actually.
And while we are on the subject. How do you find the dressing style at Christiansborg?
Well, as it is the case with so many other industries, the dress code suffers from the new norms and clash with the classical uniform. I pretty much believe that people should wear what they feel most comfortable in. It’s often also the thing that actually suits them best, and which increase the motivation to work – exactly as I have it when I iron a fresh shirt and tie a tie. Personally, I just find a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers a bit odd in these surroundings, though of course, people should not be forced into a suit if it shadows for their personalities.
But there is just something about these buildings that (should) force someone to make an effort. I once heard Jakob Ellemann from Venstre stating that out of respect for his job and his voters mandate, he would never enter Folketingssalen without a tie and newly polished shoes. I really like this.
How would you describe your own dressing-style?
In fear of sounding like a true Sviatchenko, I would describe myself as a modern classicists. I take classic elements such as a tie, blazer and brogues and pair it with more casual elements. Items like a pair of woolen trousers or a sweater. If it was the norm, I would love to dress myself in the full Ivy League-uniform at the University, however, it is unfortunately so far away from the norm that it requires more gut than I have been willing to put into it more than a couple of times so far. Blessed Mads Holger pointed out that today you actually look a bit funny on those who thinks inside the box when getting dressed. I think that goes for many places.
On another note… You seem to enjoy the art of language. What is it that fascinates you about it?
Language is what shapes us. If you think about it, the language has meaning to everything. How we look at the society around us, what value we give to certain things and how we see each other. In politic, in commercials, in literature, in the conversation over the dinner table.
As long as I remember, I have enjoyed writing and expressing myself through words. Since then I have been fascinated by how big a factor of power the language can be. When I tell someone that I study rhetoric, there are some who sees it as this black magic you can use to control and manipulate with. It’s not that far off the truth.
Tell us about your different jobs. What is it that you do?
Currently, I work at a digital communications agency near Søerne. Here, I work with texts, idea creation, counseling and much more. Think Mad Men anno 2017 – again, unfortunately without the dress code. And the whiskey and tobacco, but that’s perhaps only a good thing. We got club soda and a fruit scheme.
Likewise, I do work as a freelancer under the name of Aptum B. My one-man army as I like to call it (find some of the work here: http://jeppebentzen.dk/). It’s all thanks to this that we are sitting in Christiansborg today.
I have had my own company since I was 17. At first, it was together with a friend, now I am all-alone. The creative freedom is really what makes the difference for me and it gives me a chance to give vent to my eager to write. I am also a part of the lifestyle-site, My Pleasure, which allow me to work on essays and podcasts for etc. Here, you can actually find a bit of the aforementioned Mad Men-vibe.
A young man full of experience and what seems to be complex jobs. How did that happen?
I quickly found out from an early age what I was good at and what I wanted to do, but it can be difficult to convince others about your worth when you are inexperienced. Thus I started freelancing in high school – to create my own experience, which I am still doing.
Afterwards I have done so by putting myself out there – being a bit brisk and knowing how to flirt a bit. Very often, I have invited myself in for a cup of coffee to people I would like to do something with or for. It usually goes pretty well. Those classic applications have a way to drown in the crowd. Today – in my view – much hiring is done due to personality rather than grades.
Still early in your career. Any “end goals” in mind? Any particular job, industry etc. where you see yourself?
It is, yes. It points in many directions. I would like to work even more with policial communications. Perhaps as a adviser. The bureau-world I am in right now is likewise very interesting. I also have this journalist inside of me who at some point might demand some more attention. The only thing I am very certain on is that I would like to be self-employed. The idea of creating something from scratch while creating a place of employment really talks to me.