There I Belong at Statens Museum for Kunst

 

There I Belong is the first in a new series of exhibitions under the title SMK Plus where contemporary artists will explore the collections of the National Gallery.

For this exhibiion - Inspired by the works of the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi who lived and worked in Copenhagen around 1900 - the artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have collaborated with Marianne Torp and Tone Bonnén, the museum's curators of contemporary art.

Spartan interiors by Hammershøi are restrained and calm but they are enigmatic - paintings that tread a fine line between being self contained or depictions of a life of painful isolation. The paintings resonate with a contemporary audience, reflecting aspects of modern taste and restrained Scandinavian interiors.

There may be windows in these rooms but the view out to a world beyond is usually obscured by thin, translucent curtains … the natural light entering the room is crucial but a sense of place not so because these are studies in light but never put people, objects or place under a harsh spot light. Figures in the paintings are detached, generally absorbed in what they are doing, inward looking, often with their back to the viewer and in many of the paintings we do not even know if they are reading or writing or simply sitting with head bowed in quiet contemplation. Open doors indicate that there are rooms beyond but barely hint at a lived life.

Interior with the Artist's Easel, takes this to an extreme because, when painting the picture, the artist himself should be at the easel. The only conclusion has to be that there is a second easel at the point where the viewer is standing so are we the artist? Perhaps we have been co-opted into this quiet and private world but this is the ultimate antidote to that modern scourge - the selfie - where the photographer shows themselves at the centre of the scene, always the subject of the view, inevitably relegating an event or scene beyond to a secondary role.

The second gallery - a large space - shows the work Powerless Structures (8 doors) by Elmgreen & Dragset from 2000-2002. These are the most simple, basic, standard white doors imaginable, with plain white door frames but each is a variation in a theme of a detachment from the real or the functional … one door has handles and hinges on both the left and the right side so it would be impossible to open - another has a handle that is not on the door but on the wall alongside so it might or might not open - one door is slightly open to reveal a locked door immediately behind - one door is folded and wrapped around the corner of the gallery - a pair of doors on adjoining walls at another corner are separate but linked by a security chain as if someone might be able to squeeze through from a room on one side to another room without being able to get into the gallery.

This work, or a version of this work, was shown at Statens Museum for Kunst in 2015 in Biography - an ambitious set of major installations by Elmgreen & Dragset. Then, the doors were part of a corridor and a series of rooms that were in what appeared to be a government or public office building. If not obviously dystopian then the corridor was completely anonymous and designed to smother any sense of self. On entering you had a choice to go one way or the other but with no signs or notices to say where you were or why you were there although you could get a ticket from a machine to wait for your number to be called but it never would be, of course, and if you proceeded past these doors you could only return to where you started.

By now placing these doors on the four walls of a large gallery, the work takes yet another step back and pays homage to Hammershøi but expands his space until it is monumental in scale.

The exhibition includes photographs, paintings, sculptures and video by other artists - all taking the theme of doorways and spartan anonymity - with works by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Lilianna Maresca, Francesca Woodman, Robert Gober, Annika von Hausswolff, Ugo Rondinone and Thomas Ruff. Only the work by von Hausswolff is from the museum collection with the other works either courtesy of the artist or on loan from galleries and private owners.

 

the exhibition at Statens Museum for Kunst / The National Gallery in Copenhagen
continues until 1 September 2019

Interior with a young woman sweeping, 1899

Interior, No 30 Strandgade, 1906-1908

Interior with the Artist’s Easel, 1910

KADK graduates and UN Sustainable Development Goals

 

Shown in this outdoor exhibition are seventeen innovative study programmes or research projects by graduate students from the Royal Academy Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation and each represent one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Rigsdagsgården - the courtyard immediately in front of the parliament building in Copenhagen - is an amazing public space that is easily accessible for everyone and has a regular series of open-air exhibitions but, more important, given the subject of this exhibition, it brings these problems - and the urgent need to find potential solutions - right to the doorstep of national politicians.

These are innovative and imaginative projects that show architectural, design-led or conservation solutions to major global problems but all are based on established design principles and the use of existing technology or of technology being developed now.

This is the best of Danish architecture and design that can and should be harnessed to tackle serious problems that have to be resolved now.

Solutions shown here are a response to huge range of serious questions including questions about:

  • how we can reclaim methane gas from melting permafrost as a source of green energy

  • how to use sustainable materials to design textiles and make them a preferred choice

  • how we create healthcare solutions for elderly citizens that involve people and maintain their dignity

  • that developing traditional handicrafts can be a starting point for women to start a local business

  • how novel solutions can ensure that people everywhere have access to clean water

  • design solutions can tackle the problem of over production of food or food waste and encourage people to share food resources to combat hunger

  • the design of lighting in the class room can be used to reduce noise levels and encourage calm and concentration in schools

  • research can find a way to use the waste from fish farms to fuel biogas energy

  • major architectural projects - changing the use of large but now redundant buildings - can reduce inequalities by enabling everyone in a community to participate

  • hemp can be an alternative to cotton because cultivation requires less water and less fertilisers

Each project is shown across two large panels for maximum impact but are repeated - two or more projects to a panel - on the side of the exhibition towards the pavement - where the text is in English.

There are important statements here from Jakob Brandtberg Knudsen, Director of the School of Architecture; Mathilde Aggebo, Director of the Design School; Rikke Bjarnhof, Director of the School of Conservation and Lene Dammand Lund, Rector of KADK. 

 

Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademis Skoler for Arkitektur, Design og Konservering
The Royal Danish Academy Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation

the exhibition of graduate projects from KADK in Rigsdagsgården
the courtyard in front of the parliament building in Copenhagen
continues until 30 June 2019

 

select any image to open in a slide show

 

Sustainable Chairs at Designmuseum Danmark

At the end of last year, the Nordic Council of Ministers held an open competition for the design of sustainable chairs with one winner chosen from each of the Nordic countries.

Judges considered the sourcing of materials; the energy required in production and distribution; consideration of disposal at the end of the life of the chair and general compliance with the United Nations 17 goals for sustainability.

At the beginning of December, winning designs were shown in the Nordic Pavilion at COP 24 - the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice in Poland.

The overall winner was the Danish entry - The Coastal Chair by Nikolaj Thrane Carlsen.

This competition was organised in partnership with the Nordic national design associations - Danish Design Center, Svensk Form, DOGA in Norway, Ornamo in Finland and The Icelandic Design Centre.

the chairs will be shown in the entrance area of
the design museum in Copenhagen
until 26 May 2019

Designmuseum Danmark


 

Petite
David Ericsson
Sweden

beech
components reduced to use less materials and light - just 2.5 kilo

 

 

Tangform
Nikolaj Thrane Carlsen
Denmark

shell eelgrass and carrageenan extracted from red algae
frame recycled from bamboo floorboards

 

 
 

Håg Capisco
Peter Opsvik
Norway

recycled plastic from household waste
no glue or harmful chemicals
durable, easy to disassemble and repairable
manufactured by HÅG/Flokk


 

Kollhrif
Sölvi Kristjánsson
Iceland

cork and aluminium recycled from 14,400 tea lights
manufactured by Málmsteypan Hella and Portland

 

 
 

Clash 331
Samuli Naamanka
Finland

aspen and birch
thicker at the part of the seat where the legs are glued so subframe not necessary
durable
manufactured by naamanka

The Danish Design Center has posted photographs and information about the ten designs in the finals in each country:
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

DESIGN X CHANGE at Designmuseum Danmark

Over the two days of the weekend for Design X Change 2019 at Designmuseum Danmark, there were lectures and demonstrations and a number of companies exhibited their products including the bicycle design company BIOMEGA with a display in the entrance court and, in Grønnegården - the great central courtyard of the museum - were, among many others, the new furniture company TAKT showing the first three chairs they have produced that were launched just a month ago; MATER; THE ORGANIC COMPANY; Signe Wenneberg with BIOTANISK KIOSK; sustainable bins from DROPBUCKET; planters from SQUARELY; jewellers from KEA - the Copenhagen Business Academy and COPENHAGEN SEEDS

 

 

DESIGN X CHANGE at Designmuseum Danmark
Saturday and Sunday 4 and 5 May 2019

DESIGN X CHANGE at Designmuseum Danmark

DESIGN X CHANGE, at Designmuseum Danmark today, is a major and popular annual event that is part of the Danish Design Festival.

There were demonstrations and displays in Grønnegården - the great courtyard at the centre of the museum - and lectures in the upper hall and all around the theme of sustainability in design.

DESIGN X CHANGE continue at Designmuseum Danmark tomorrow - Sunday 5 May 10.00-17.00

for information about companies and organisations taking part and for details about lectures see DESIGN X CHANGE

 

BLOX celebrates

 

There was open house and events through this afternoon - in the square at the front of the building and inside - to mark the year since BLOX opened last May.

BLOX

 

Fællesskab anno 2019 - Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design /

Community anno 2019 - The Biennale for Craft & Design

 

The Biennale of Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere - the Association of Craft and Design - is a major exhibition for craft in Denmark with a prestigious prize.

Following an open call for ideas for works on a theme of Community, eighteen were chosen for the exhibition at Nordatlantens Brygge in Copenhagen - an impressive 18th-century, brick warehouse at the centre of the inner harbour. The Biennale is in a gallery space on the attic floor with good light from windows on both sides so low, strong natural light, forms shadows across the space, as the sun moves round the building, but that light emphasises the confident use of deep colour and strong element of texture in many of the works.

Some of these works are about family - about the gift of food at the table or about memories of lost loved ones - and there is a strong sense of exploring - exploring through play and exploring through senses not always associated with design - specifically taste as in flavour - as well as the obvious senses that mean we can appreciate carefully designed shapes or the choice of a colour in beautiful and well-made object.

These are exceptional and unique works, formed, in large part, from common and everyday materials but, primarily, they are works that express individual imagination so are about communicating ideas … in some cases complex ideas. Shape and form and colour, choice of material and even technique of crafting those materials are all used as a way to communicates and become as valid as language and spoken words …. what Pernille Stockmarr identifies in the catalogue as "archetypal forms that make up a common primeval source of inspiration."

Several of the projects were produced together with other artists and the biennale is clearly an opportunity to share experiences and increase debate and discussion …. more than appropriate given the theme for the exhibition of Community.

 

Jury of the Biennale exhibition in 2019

Anni Nørskov Morch, exhibition curator of Koldinghus 

Maria Foerlev, owner of design gallery Etage Projects 

Pernille Stockmarr, curator at Designmuseum Danmark

 

Prize Committee for the Biennale in 2019

Pernille Stockmarr, curator at Design Museum Denmark 

Christina Zetterlund, freelance curator and lecturer at Linnaeus University in Sweden 

Peder Rasmussen, ceramist

 

the Biennale - ties that bind us

Five of the projects in the Biennale use the theme of Community to explore what holds or binds a person - sometimes what quite literally ties a person - to a group or community.

 

AweAre by the visual artist Charlotte Østergaard in macrameé and braided lycra links together four people and that gives each an element of independence and freedom but clearly restricts how far they can move apart.

On the evening that the Biennale Prize was presented there was a performance by four dancers where, at points, they moved as a collective body and then pulled apart to the limit though curiously that was when, stretched taught, they could lean away, like leaning into the wind, at angles that no individual could achieve, but, when they came back together, it required delicate co-ordination to step round or through the group to tangle and untangle their connections.

 

 

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design

charlotteostergaardcopenhagen.dk


 

Hva' for et skab? What Kind of Ties by the art group RØRT with the jewellery artists Kristina Villadsen, Maja Røhl, Maria Tsoskunoglu, and Nanna Obel could hardly be more different but was still about four people linked by much more delicate ties but equally strong because those looped together in a single elegant necklace choose not to pull away and break the silk cord that holds the freshwater pearls together.

The work explores the strong and long-lasting bonds of friendship that can form within a group of women … bonds and ties that are so often difficult for an outsider, particularly a man, to understand.

When not worn then the necklace is laid across a deep red fabric and forms what is recognisable immediately as a Danish flag and that too is a symbol of a powerful and lifelong bond between the members of a community. 

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design

 

 

Mourning Period by the jewellery artist Sarah Winther is about stronger but even less tangible bonds than pearls strung on silk … here about our memories of family or friends after death.

Two strong ideas are explored. First that the memory of a specific smell can remind us of a person - here the distinct aftershave used by a step father - and, by well-established tradition, jewellery - here silver rings - can be a tangible reminder that honours and keeps the memory of a person with us.

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design

sarahwinther.com


 

Red Cabinet by the designer Mia Lagerman is a tall cabinet in red, lacquered wood, with rattan forming grills on both long sides but open ends and with shelves in mirror glass.

It looks back to a type of furniture that is less usual now … what was sometimes called a cabinet of curiosities.

People have always collected things - objects that are either intrinsically valuable - a collection of coins or medals - curious and unusual objects - particularly things collected on travels to other countries - or are objects that have personal importance so mementoes of a part of an earlier life or from family.

Displaying objects in a cabinet like this is about how a person sees themselves or wants the community to see them.

 

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design

mialagerman.com


 
 

CPH-PEK … en tur på konotoret / CPH-PEK … a trip to the office

by Helle Vibeke Jensen and Mette Saabye

 

Work in “stone, paper, string, gold, yarn, ink, mars. fabric, stamp mash, open sandwiches and copious amounts of 'goo' to keep it together”

This project began when the artists met for the first time in Beijing when they were travelling for the Danish Arts Foundation state jewellery collection. They discovered similar interests, in what they collected from the trip, and this work explores an amazing fantasy world, where they have created passports - the ultimate link between a person and their community in the broadest sense - unless you really can travel as a world citizen.

The starting point is the meeting of Chinese and Danish cultures and crafts so there is an invented alphabet of pictograms that were inspired by the stamps and seals of Chinese artists but has, for instance, a stylised propeller for the consonant P and, as in Danish teaching, is printed in black while the symbols for vowels are red.

The jewellery explores concepts of intrinsic value - so in gold - or invested value in found objects such as stones or bricks that are given value because they become important to us or because the artist reveals something beautiful within the material.

If this sounds stodgy or over-invested in meaning, the work is far far from that … it was difficult to take photographs as the tables were always surrounded by people in discussion with the artists. This is about fantasy and imagination but also about core design decisions about form and style; about materials and techniques used by the maker and about the discipline of stopping work on a piece at the right point.

 Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design

Helle Vibeke Jensen

mettesaabye.com hebinu.com

the Biennale - the community of association

Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere - the Danish Association of Craft and Design is itself a community - not specifically a trade guild in the medieval form but with many of the important functions of a traditional guild so supporting artists, encouraging communication and collaboration between artist and a significant role in education and outreach.

Above all, through the Biennale and in the many exhibitions in the their gallery in Bredgade, the association gives artists an opportunity to show how their work is evolving and developing.

Much is about that evolution and development is about continually experimenting and pushing the boundaries of materials and techniques in the crafts to achieve new forms and to express new ideas.

Three projects in the biennale this year exemplify the importance of developing and evolving skills …. 

In their work På sporet af det danske ler - et råstof / In search of Danish clay - a raw material the ceramicist Bodil Manz and the architect Jacob Manz show how they have explored beaches and cliffs, not just to find and to use local raw materials but also to look for inspiration from salvaged materials to inspire forms, colours and textures for new works … both new 'Functional Tiles' and 'Table Objects'.

 

materials and trials shown include clay, brick rubble from Danish beaches and cliffs, glaze, samples of slip

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design


 

Bigware by Sisse Lee are monumental in size but thin and elegant in execution … using white stoneware, volcanic sand from Iceland, transparent glaze, black stoneware and porcelain to produce vessels that echo fundamental and almost universal forms for essential containers.

Through human history, any settled family and every larger community had to store water or food and had to master local materials to make vessels.

sisselee.dk

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design


Torso, stoneware by the ceramicist Mariko Wada are presented as a group of three sculptures "expressing fragments of the shapes and structures of the human body" but are surely also about consummate skill in working with clay to produce ceramic art.

marikowada.com

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design

 
 

the Biennale - community through the ritual of the dining table

 

Providing food for family and friends at large gatherings for long meals is still a strong ritual in Danish life so it is hardly surprising that the table and the setting of the food and ceramics and glass vessels made for food are such a strong thread through Danish design and craft.

Grå hverdag / Grey Everyday by the ceramicist and designer Ole Jensen has, what appear to be, utilitarian bowls and jugs and plates that are set on a simple and robust table and all - the vessels and the table - are in a soft grey tone so the effect is haunting.

The work shows that colour can be a distraction and the pinched-clay technique of the works gives the forms of the vessels a softness and slight but important irregularity.

 

olejensendesign.com

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design


 
 

In their work Hverdagsceremoni / Ceremony of the everyday, the ceramicist Sarah Oakman and the glass designer Maj-Britt Zelmer Olsen explore the idea that as resources, including food, become scarce then the amount eaten might be restricted and then the ceremony of eating and the careful presentation of small quantities of food could become more significant in much the same way that, in the past, precious spices and even tea, when it was first imported, or cooking salt in poorer communities were kept in special containers and used with care and deference.

sarahhoakman.com

zelmerolsen.dk

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design


 

In Appearance Contemporary Centerpieces the ceramicist Signe Fensholt suggests that "A meal can be a stage for a social performance. A shared meal may indicate a relationship or mark the closing of a deal … In a shared meal, the basic need for food becomes a way to build a bond and a sense of community."

Here the centrepiece in stoneware is an exploration of organic forms and textures in clay.

signefensholt.com

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design


 
 

Mønster I Striber - fra bord til væg / Pattern in Stripes - from table to wall

by textile designer Bitten Hegelund

 

For setting a good table, fine linen is still used in Danish dining rooms and here the table cloth - and a variation of the pattern used for a vertical hanging - take on the formality of a tester and link these modern textiles back, at least in part, to the canopies and tapestries that wealthy households in mediaeval and 16th-century Denmark used to indicate their status when they were entertaining guests at formal meals.

The hanging system was designed by the architect Uffe Black

 

 

bittenhegelund.dk

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design

 

the Biennale - Popsicle Index Workshop

 

A fascinating project by the textile and colour designer Margrethe Odgaard to explore links between our senses … so how taste or flavour, and presumably also smell, can form associations with certain colours.

In blind tastings of different foods in four different groups - Apricot, pomegranate and date in one trial and masala and marshmallows in another - people picked a colour from 520 different colour samples on the ice-lolly sticks and then put them into the slot in a wooden box to record which colours they associated with which flavours.

Colours selected for each specific group of flavours are shown in frames.

Obviously the mental and emotional process - linking a colour with a flavour or smell - is complex and surely has to be subjective. Some flavours will seem hot or cool or strong or subtle - we use many of the same words when we try to describe flavours and colours - and presumably that makes the choice of specific colours relatively straightforward but also people will also associate a specific smell or flavour with a particular memory of a specific event so that could well be the colour of the room they were in when they first tried a food or there might be a strong link between a person they knew and their favourite food and their favourite colour.

This experiment also, of course, throws a light on how designers, particularly product designers, have to consider options for colours that have to reflect fashion while allowing not only for personal taste but also conventions within a community or society for which colours are associated with a function … so designers have to consider colours that a wider community might associate with freshness or grief or passion or, that most curious of human concerns, about which colours reflect or might signal that you have good or bad taste. 

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design

margretheodgaard.com

the Biennale - no straw shortener

uden stråforkter / no straw shortener - are two works by the designer and visual artist Christina Christensen. One work is with rye from fields near Odder, and the other with reeds from Kysing Beach, and both with cotton, linen and brass.

 
 

connections:

Through their work, many of the artists who exhibited at the biennale communicate complex ideas or raise important issues about our lives … both in our immediate communities but also, more generally, about how we respond to and how we do or how we should appreciate and respect our broader natural environment.

These woven panels raise interesting issues about both how we see and use natural materials and about the impact on nature of human intervention.

Over recent decades research by plant breeders has lead to the development short-stemmed grain crops - to reduce damage from wind or rain, and to increases yields - but, as a consequence, secondary uses for the product from taller varieties are lost.

Until the second half of the 20th century, corn was not simply harvested for the nutritional value of the seed but the long stalks were a sustainable raw material.

Straw (and in many areas reed) was used for thatch where stone slates or fired clay tiles were not available locally or were too expensive for ordinary buildings.

Now, we worry about air miles or about the cost and effect of shipping food, fashion clothing and goods round the globe but I'm curious to know how many people think about where the materials for the construction of their home come from and the environmental impact of those materials at the source, at the factory, and from the transport of the materials.

Generally, in the past - so before the twentieth century - transport of building materials was difficult and expensive. If you were wealthy then you could buy a fashionable fireplace or elaborate panelling from the nearest city or import an exotic wood like mahogany for a staircase to be made by a local craftsman, but for ordinary people, building an ordinary house, materials, generally, came from the local area - often from no more than five miles away - unless you were by the coast or on a river, or, from the 19th century, by a canal or then a railway, when transport costs were less prohibitive.

So, it is fantastic to see the architect Dorte Mandrup using thatch for not only the roof but also for the external cladding of the walls for the new Wadden Sea interpretation centre at Ribe on the west coast of Jutland.

But straw and reed were not just used for building but were also used to make mats or to make furniture - in areas, where good timber was not available - and for making household goods and toys - but how many people now have things in their homes made from straw or reed?

I had a set of table mats that lasted for nearly 20 years before they finally disintegrated and I have a few traditional Dutch Christmas decorations - small birds and stars - that are woven in straw, and every year, for more than 30 years, they come out of the cupboard to be hung on the tree … good and sustainable examples of rural crafts that have much more meaning than tinsel and baubles.

For more than 20 years I measured and recorded and assessed historic buildings of all periods and a good number were thatched. My job was to measure, record and date the timber-work of the roof structure but I have to admit that I rarely thought about the thatch … more than just to note the material and any pattern on the ridge or eaves that reflected the traditions of that area.

Looking at the work by Christina Christensen, reminded me when I first thought about long straw. I had been asked by BBC radio to collaborate on a programme about a thatched building in Oxfordshire and was there to talk about the date of the roof timbers - the form and techniques of construction suggested it dated from the 14th century and that had been confirmed by dendrochronology - but the main contribution to the programme was from a plant archaeologist.

What was so important about that particular roof was that it had never been stripped back for the thatch to be replaced completely. For over 600 years it had simply been patched and repaired with new layers over the old core of straw thatch. Not just exposed roof timbers but also the underside of the thatch itself were blackened with soot from the original open hearth that had been at the centre of the house until the 16th century when a new fireplace with a closed-in chimney was built.

From within the roof space, huddled in cramped space above modern ceilings, with me and the radio interviewer, the archaeologist drew out straws that were not far off 2 metres long and some still had their seed heads. From these he was able to identify the specific types of corn grown in the area in the middle ages - types of corn that were often specific to a relatively small area and certainly no longer grown - and identifying them was important for understanding medieval farming but also important for studies on bio diversity.

the Biennale - to play and learn together

 

This work by Kristine Mandsberg has prominent labels that read "please touch".

Play and, through play, early learning is one of the first stages where a child not only begins to explore and understand the physical world but also begins to build bonds with parents, siblings and a growing circle of friends.

Copenhagen has remarkable playgrounds with a huge range of equipment to test agility, to stimulate the imagination of children and to encourage play and the production of toys and furniture for children has been important in the works of many designers.

Kristine Mandsberg trained as a textile designer in Kolding and once you know that then the structural form of Three of a Kind, with warp and weft, becomes intriguing.

She also describes herself as an illustrator and the bold simple shapes here and her use of strong, bold colours has to come from a graphic sensibility.

But it was not just children who spent time twisting and turning and resetting these pieces. It was interesting to watch adults set and re set the pieces … perhaps not to find the inner child but seemed to reflect, at least, the way humans are curious about complex and adaptable structures.

These works have an element of mechanics about them … reminiscent of old wood football rattles that are never seen at matches now.

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design

kristinemandsberg.com

 

Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design / The Biennale for Craft & Design 2019

 

This evening, the prestigious Biennaleprisen from Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere - the Biennale Prize from the Danish Association of Craft and Design - was awarded to Katrine Borup, Pernille Mouritzen and Bess Kristoffersen for their work Revl og Krat / Wheat and Chaff … an installation that is a curated collection of natural objects - including soil, branches, bark moss and grass - with crafted objects, photographs and notes.

It is a collaborative project by artists who work in the woodland around Dyrehavehuset / Deer Park House - a historic timber-framed lodge that is close to Tystrup Lake - 70 kilometers south west of Copenhagen - and was part of the extensive estates of the historic house at Gunderslevholm.

In the catalogue, the artists acknowledge the influence on their work of the American academic, author and teacher Donna Haraway and cite her recent book Staying with the Trouble.

This is about connections and stories; about art, science and political activism and about trying to understand our environment and about showing respect for nature.

Dyrehavehuset, Rejnstrupvej 5, Fuglebjerg - has been restored and is now the studio of Bess Kristoffersen.

The web site for Deer Park House has a specific page to illustrate some of the workshop sessions and the works produced at the studio for Revl og Krat.  

bessktistoffersen.dk
pernillemouritzen.dk
katrineborup.dk
dyrehavehuset.dk

 
 

  

Naturen Vinder Biennaleprisen 2019

Prize Committee

Pernille Stockmarr, curator, Designmuseum Danmark
Peder Rasmussen, ceramicist
Christina Zetterlund, lecturer and curator Linnéuniversitet 

the exhibition with all eighteen works selected continues until 5 May 2019 at
Nordatlantens Brygge, Strandgade 91, København K

note:

I am curious about the translation of the title of the work.
In dictionaries revl is generally translated into English as batten or possibly lath (plausible as this is a woodland lodge) and krat as a thicket so presumably the saying implies something useful coming from something that might be dismissed or might be seen to be useless … in terms of potential materials, the tangled branches of a thicket are less useful than a carefully nurtured tree from managed woodland.  

This has been translated in the catalogue as Wheat and Chaff … where wheat is the grain or seed that you keep and use for food or for planting for the next crop while the chaff is the husks that are discarded after the crop is winnowed.

Is the implication therefore that if you appreciate the chaff then you can use teverything?

Fællesskab anno 2019 / Community anno 2019

Catalogue for Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design / The Biennale for Craft & Design 2019

The forward for the catalogue has been written by  Hans Christian Asmussen - designer and lecturer in design and on the board of Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere / the Danish Association of Craft and Design.

He discusses the growing importance of our sense of community and the eighteen projects chosen for the Biennale consider, in one way or another, our "notion of community - some with a critical voice, some in a playful tone, some tenderly, but all striving to explore the value that community offers."

This is about how artists, through their work, explore complex ideas, express what they feel and give the viewer reasons to think and reconsider by emphasising or challenging a view point or simply by shining a light on aspects of our lives that possibly we need to reconsider.

There is a longer essay on Community by the design historian and design theorist Pernille Stockmarr. She makes the crucial observation that with the frequent use of terms such as 'sharing economy', 'co-creation', ‘co-design', 'crowdsourcing', and 'crowdfunding', the concepts of community and cooperation have a strong and important relevance.

Historically, the concept of community is strong in Denmark with a well-established welfare state; a strong sense of family and friendship; a strong and ongoing role for the co-operative movement in retailing for food and household design and a strong volunteer movement through various sports and hobby associations.

In part, political change outside Denmark and the growing pressure to resolve threats to our environment has lead many to question what motivates us and those uncertainties make us reconsider our priorities and help us decide how we can move forward as local or wider communities.

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Oslo Plads

Osterport Air.jpeg

Oslo Plads is in front of the station and takes the road over the railway
the building being converted and extended by KHR is in the top angle of the junction with the Citadel to the right - to the east - the main railway station building to the left - to the west - Den Frie opposite, on the other side of the junction and the northern-most houses of the famous 17th-century Nyboder centre bottom

towards the top left of the view are the engineering works for the new Metro station that will open this summer and on the left edge of the view are the earthworks and lakes that survive from the historic city defences … it would be difficult to find a more prominent or more sensitive site for a new development in Copenhagen

Designed by the Copenhagen architects KHR - this building, on Oslo Plads in Copenhagen, is not finished but has, already, attracted a huge amount of criticism.

It has been described as looking like a collapsed cake; one national newspaper critic has suggested that it should be nominated for an award as the grimmest building in the city; someone on the board of a conservation society has demanded that work should stop immediately and members of the planning committee are already stepping back from their decision to give consent by saying that it looks nothing like the drawings.

It is not actually a new building but a dramatic remodelling of a single-storey and very brutal concrete block that was a supermarket and sports shop with an extension to the railway station - Østerport Station - immediately to the left in this view.

The building was L-shaped, facing onto both roads with a courtyard at a lower level to the back, in the angle of the L, where a new office building has been constructed.

The design was bound to be contentious because this is an incredibly sensitive site … the ornate station building dates from just after 1900; opposite the building - behind the camera in this view - is a very quirky wooden building that was used by a famous group of landscape painters and is now an art gallery - Den Frie - Gustafskyrkan - the Swedish Church on the other side of the road, to the right in this view, was completed in 1911 and is a very fine building and, more important, immediately behind the church is the Kastellet - the citadel - with ramparts dating from the late 17th century and one of the most important green spaces in the city.

An extra floor has been added above the supermarket but it is the odd, raspberry-sorbet colour of the glass cladding and the unrelenting horizontal line of the front that seems to be the problem.

A wider issue is actually one about road planning: this is an incredibly wide junction with traffic heading out of the city along the coast to Hellerup and Klampenborg to the north that crosses in front of the station and traffic for the Oslo Ferry terminal, traffic for the new district of Nordhavn - North Harbour - and tourists buses for the cruise ship terminals all head along the road past the church.

The solution, over the years, has been to make the roads wider and wider - to create separate filter lanes for dealing with the traffic lights - and this has taken away much of the pavement but it is hardly a ringing endorsement for a new building to say that it might look better set back beyond a deep pavement heavily planted with trees.

 

the DJ on the bridge

 

This was taken as I crossed over the lakes on Dronningen Louises Bro - the Queen Louise Bridge - heading back into the city early one evening just before the Easter weekend.

It was seriously loud and seriously good electronic music and he was completely in his own world …oblivious of the people standing around and oblivious of the traffic heading out of the city.

For a blog about design and architecture this might seem a bit irrelevant but it makes an important point about planning and about how people use and take over public space.

The bridge is wide but not that wide but this parapet faces south-west so this pavement catches the best of the evening sun. It's on the way home for people heading back from the city to Nørrebro and as the parapet and pavement is over 130 metres long this is a good place to see and be seen and drink a beer … if you have remembered to buy some on the way.