looking across the centre of the engineering works for the extension of the metro station at this key point of interchange ... the equestrian statue of the king Christian V survives in isolation - high hoardings face outwards all round the works - the view was taken from the gate to the site but there are also glazed panels in the hoardings and a viewing platform so people can see work progressing
On the high green hoardings around the building sites for the new metro there is usually art work - either by local artists or or by local community groups - and as the hoardings are moved or adjusted for a different section of work then new art work appears.
The sections on the north and west sides of Kongens Nytorv at the moment are particularly good. Art can be pure decoration but usually it gains in significance if it makes you look at something familiar in a different way or challenges you to rethink an assumption or brings you hard up against something you had never thought about before.
So here on three long adjoining sections of the hoarding are all three:
For Copenhagen List, the photographs of familiar features from the city are part of the celebrations to mark the 850th anniversary of the founding of Copenhagen. Because the prints are large and isolate the subject you see things that you see so often that you stop seeing them or you are surprised because a visitor comments. The Christiania bikes loaded with kids or shopping or both and a dog are a common site although it’s best not to not see them as in a bike v pedestrian clash it’s clear who would come off worst. These are not light-weight frames by a long shot and get up a surprising speed surprisingly quickly. Never under estimate a Christiania.
People have been asked to vote on which photos represent the city best and I still think my vote is for the Copenhagen bench ... good to look at and better to sit on but then I like people watching.
To follow the result go to københavnerkanon.dk
The photographer Kiên Hoàng Lê lives in Berlin but he studied in Denmark. His photographs that were taken in 2016 are superb. The series is about the problem of identity … about feeling Vietnamese in Germany where he grew up or feeling German when he returns to Vietnam but then despite that displacement understanding that people have more in common than they realise. Curiosity - for a start - is universal.
On Mirror Wave by the artist Frederik Hesseldahl, the boldly curved reflecting panels give a distorted image of the familiar scene in part because the overpainted design fragments the view but the curved reflection also adds a weird speed or whip to how the brain registers what it is looking at … so focus on trying to work out which part of which building you are actually looking at and the reflection of someone walking behind you or even someone cutting in front changes pace as the image goes in and out of the hollows and, of course, as you move your own image distorts and changes.
As always, when I’m taking photographs in a city, I was checking quickly to see if anyone was about to walk into the frame. Sometimes I realise a person will add scale or context so delay just a second or two until they get into the picture but sometimes someone just off frame is the last person I need so I wait and then sometimes I catch sight of the perfect person for that photo coming along and they stop and apologise and walk round behind me. Here I just caught a glimpse of this scene as I was about to take a photo of the hoarding to the left and I turned and pressed the shutter as I turned because I knew I was about to loose it. Certainly not a good photo technically but the young girl, imitating the wing span of the swans, dropped her feet back to the ground as I took the shot. It was only when I downloaded the photos that I realised the young boy, presumably her brother, was not only trying to ignore her - he muttered something as he walked away - but also he was doing the Copenhagen Walk - keeping to the smooth stones.