Servitudes - Jesper Just at Kunsthal Charlottenborg

Servitudes, a video installation by the Danish artist Jesper Just, has opened at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen.

The architecture of the gallery space plays a strong part in framing or containing a series of eight videos, including one projected onto the floor, and all are synchronised and seen on a proscribed route along a raised metal walkway with a series of ramps that are reminiscent of temporary access ramps for wheelchairs. These take the visitor through the series of large but dimly-lit spaces and rise high enough to mean that at one point it is necessary to duck down to get under a doorway that normally forms a high and wide link between gallery spaces.

Each film is on a continuous loop and dominate your view point so distort any real sense of scale or time and most visitors seemed to watch each film through so another and strong element of the exhibition is the groups of people seen as silhouettes leaning against the rails of the walkways or, in one gallery, sitting on a bank of platforms.

The videos too have a strong architectural theme and were filmed at One World Trade Center. One has a series of lift doors in a large lobby that are opening and closing to no discernible pattern but with no one entering or leaving and one film has a young woman in a barely-furnished space looking out through high plate-glass windows at a landscape of the city skyscrapers. In another, the camera pans slowly across a finely-detailed glass and steel façade broken by rhythmic tapping that eventually resolves into a young girl, back to the camera. striking a panel at street level with a stone.

The catalogue rightly describes the exhibition as mesmerising.

Servitudes, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen
the exhibition continues until 11 August 2019

Bauhaus #itsalldesign

Designmuseum Danmark, Bredgade 68, Copenhagen

A major exhibition has opened at Designmuseum Danmark on the history, the staff and their teaching and the work of the Bauhaus school of architecture and design.

This reassessment was conceived by Vitra Design Museum and Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn to mark 100 years since the opening of the Bauhaus.

review to follow

the exhibition continues until 1 December 2019
Designmuseum Danmark

 

SONG 1 by Doug Aitken

A sound and video installation at Copenhagen Contemporary with six curved screens forming an almost enclosed circle so the 35 minute programme can be viewed from the inside or from the outside.

This uses the classic pop song "I only have eyes for you" interpreted by very different singers and musicians but what runs through the sequence is a persistent but very beautiful feeling of melancholy.

In some sections of the sequence, images are separate to each screen or in others they are repeated on alternate screens; some images are mirrored in pairs or they wash around the full circuit as a single scene like an amazing modern version of a fairground round-a-bout.

The original version of the song is a jazz standard from 1934 but listening to so many versions, recorded over so many decades, it seems truly timeless. Cultural references abound in the images and above all it seems to be a love song - not actually to a lover but to what is truly great about the United States and it's architecture and its graphics with universally recognised symbols from the 20th century about being American in modern America so there are scenes in diners and on free ways driving inter state or in all-night bus stations.

So this is not about the natural landscape of the States but about man-made settings - the built invironment imposed on the natural - generally larger but also smaller urban and anonymous man-made spaces. It's a view of metropolis that seems indescribably lonely and sad but here mesmerising and hauntingly beautiful.

at Copenhagen Contemporary, Refshalevej 173A through until 30 December 2018

Copenhagen Contemporary / Song 1

 
 

Copenhagen Architecture Festival 2018

 

 

13th April 2018

Copenhagen Architecture Festival opens on the 3rd May and continues through to 16th May 2018. 

Yesterday the full programme was launched on line and this year, for the first time, there will be events in Odense as well as Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg … all cities with a “strong architectural identity.”

The theme for this year is HOUSING HOMES / AT HUSE HJEM with lectures, film screenings, exhibitions, workshops and guided tours to look at ideas of home, housing and belonging … “to look at what constitutes a home, what does it mean to be home, and how homes are created in different and difficult situations.”

The ambition of the festival “has always been to share architecture with a wide audience by being unpretentious, curious, and bringing a new perspective to the table. We want to create new encounters between subjects, people, and ideas in the city’s space. The intention is for architecture to act as a character in the dialogue through the audience’s personal experiences of the spaces. Architecture is thus for everyone- not just for architects.”

 

download the programme from CAFx

Architecture Festival

The full programme for the Copenhagen Architecture Festival is now available on line to download from their press page. The festival, in late April and through the first week in May, includes events in Aarhus and Aalborg.

There will be an interesting mix of lectures, films - including the first showing of a film about the work of Bjarke Ingels - and discussions with a number of guided tours of the city including some, of course, by bike, and an opportunity to get to see inside some important buildings including The Silo - a dock building that is being converted into apartments by COBE.

If there is one over riding theme, it is not the bricks and concrete and steel of the buildings but an examination of many of the problems and the potential of living in a city in the 21st century.

Copenhagen Architecture Festival