26 août 2010

Kongens Nytorv marked

Fridays and Saturdays, Kongens Nytorv -the round shaped square at the end of Nyhavn, Store Kongensgade, Bredgade, Gothersgade and the pedestrian shopping street- hosts a flee marked. From Royal Copenhagen porcelain to funny hats and home-made knitting, you'll find everything.

But what first caught my attention was the intergalactic-space-sound coming from an installation. Something between art happening and urban furniture is to be experienced. Kgs.Nytorv is often the place where art appears in an appealing -almost propanganda- way.

- The Cool Globes were exposed there during the Copenhagen Summit for Environment in December 2009
- Sustainable design solutions were shown -in collaboration with an exhibition at the Danish Center for Design, DDC, if I am correct
- Exhibitions describing the water issues in the world were seen there.

This time it is an urban lounge space with huge white cushions to cheel out on. Right next to that "The Wal" is a virtual interactive museum-wall describing the history and characteristics of Copenhagen. It seems those special installations are there to promote the city and the urban lifestyle while the metro works are pulling trees out from the original tree circle of the square and making the crossing over of the Kgs.Nytorv something of a military exercice for pedestrians.

Earlier on the week, going down to catch your metro, you would also have popped into a sound and image installation "Urban Forest". Heavy atmosphere, music and images suggesting to pause, to slow down in your rushy day planning and look around: we are hundreds, thousands of people passing here, running around in the city's web. Well, of course, you would say. But nonetheless, it is a stunning feeling you get when you take time to actually think about it.

Amusement or distraction from the works? Publicity that should inject patience into the citizens and turists hoping to enjoy the recently restaured square? The experience is however fun.

For more information on Kongens Nytorv, see www.cphx.dk/?#/28842/
For more information on "The Wall", see www.vaeggen.dk
For more information on the metro works, see post from the 5th June or visit www.m.dk/Metronyt.aspx

25 août 2010

Rum og bevægelse 3 - "eye sneakings" in SMK

Refering to the post from 1st May 2010
Talking about the play between outdoor and indoor, the perspectives and the views decomposed in several settings... Here are more examples of what your "wondering-around and about" might offer you as sight and contrasted sceneries.

Excuse the quality of the pictures - taken with my cell phone

Photographs at SMK

Lindsay Seers is exposing at Statens Museum for Kunst until the 26th September.

Her work concerns the history around her mysteriously disapeared stepsister Christine. This takes through memories and old photographs, in a search for truth. The art installation is as misterious and worrying as the history and the search in way that everything -object and subject- melt together in a strange feeling. I took home the book "It Has To Be This Way", about the exhibition and the process behind it, and will read it in the coming days. It seems the whole exhibition has to be searched through the different medias: art installation, film, pictures, sound, book...
In search of a search?

Before getting to the right spot, due to -or should I say "thanks to"- confusing panels, I was directed to the permanent photographs collection of the museum. Three rooms retrace the history of the researchs, experiments and objectives that the photographers have set themselves up to. From the beginning of the 20th century, with Man Ray and his fellows, to contemporary artists, the walk is interesting and so fascinating! Go and get lost up there (last floor of the building).

August i Amalienhave

Location: Frederiksstaden i København centrum,
på den famøse akse Marmor kirken-Amalienborg-Amalienhaven-Operaen
Tegnet af Jean Delognes, belgisk landskabsarkitekt
Indviet i 1979

Min far var på besøg i København. Mandag aften gik vi op af Langelinie og et smut igennem Amaliehaven - et af min fars favorit punkter på turen. Mand må sige at haven er jo planlagt af en Belgisk landskabsarkitekt. Oprindelig troede jeg det var Pechère men det er faktisk Jean Delognes som står bag det grønne og kanted byrum.

I hvertfald er der noget af den belgisk tradition for have- og landskabskunst som er tydlig: et arbejd på den grønne farve skala og en diskret nuancering i funktionerne der skal integreres i en urban have, altså intime nicher, større vandringsalléer, perspektiver og iagttagelsesperioder.

Jeg har ofte nævnt over for venner problemet med haven: for lidt lys om aften som giver utryghed i et offenligt rum (hvor tryghed er det vigtigste for at drage brugerne til sig på alle tidspunkter af dagen), en orientation som ikke stemmer med den eftersøgt og eftertragted udsigt mod havnen og en kostbar velligeholdelse af de geometriske buskater.

Pussigt nok, havde min far fået fat i en artikel i Københavneravisen som rammer lige på pletten og byder på forslag til en let forandring i fremtiden, i håb om at dette ville traffe brugernes -Københavnerne som turisterne- behov og ønsker til den have. Og måske tæmme polemiken rundt om den belgiske have ved at rette dens træk til noget byens beboer kan identifiere sig med...

Her er artiklen.

Du kan også læse om det på

19 août 2010


The Danish Center for Architecture (DAC) is currently running an exhibition on the work of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.

Few words, few models but everything is said and done here. Purity, clarity and clever thinking is revealed by the photographs and the white cardboard models. The architecture vision and project comes from within... The thinking and process is based on human movement flows, inside-outside relationships, mathematical and structural logics. No wonder they both won the Pritzker Price.

The only little scepticism I still might have about their work is that the purity of the forms and relationships they create is sometimes difficult to see unless you are told about them. This gap might give some frustrations to users or passing people, those who see and explore the building and their surroundings every day.

I had the chance to visit the SANAA school in Essen: a splendid and fascinating masterpiece. But I only understood its role and situation in the site when I had visited it. It is to be seen from inside and the qualities and beauties of the industrial site are promoted from inside.

Nonetheless, the detailling is rather superbe.

Go and have a look!

26 juillet 2010

Summer in Europe, summer in Denmark

Well, I have been on the move during the last month: discovering the nature's own spatial rules or Vauban's strategies in the building of forts on Ile de Ré, in France, discovering the religious and enlighted visions for an ideal city in Richelieu, in France, wondering around in Belgium and getting enthusiastic about the natural, medieval and contemporary dialogue in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Pictures coming up here...

Ile de Ré | France

Richelieu | France

1-view of the cardinal's square
from inside the old halle - 2-view of the church on cardinal's square-3- huge aristocratic residences with big backyards are to be seen along the principal street, the principal axis joining the religious pole and the royal pole- 4-the sacred city is built on an ideal of symetry and hierachized perfection (mid 17th century, end of Louis XIII's reign), only three doors allow entrance to the centre, the south door here and examples of what you could see through the private doors to the backyards - 5-the glorious planted driveway facing the statue of Cardinal Richelieu

Edinburgh | Scotland

1-view from Arthur's seat over Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament (
Miralles) and part of the New Town (17th century)- 2-landscape and benches melting together in the gardens behind the new Scottish Parliament, the green axis from Arthur's seat fromwhich the Parliament devellops as leaves on branches- 3- the old Grassmarket, 2nd part after the wall extension- 4-bike parking furniture close to the Parliament gardens- 5- ceiling in a pub in the Old Town (Medieval)

Meanwhile in Copenhagen, I have spotted some interesting summer activities:

- from 16th July-14th August: Urbant aktivitets bureau is organising activities and events around in the capital, allowing you to discover it with new eyes. Sounds really great!
Where and when? Rumkammerats galleri, Nansensgade 35, from Tuesdays to Saterdays
Read more on cphx.dk/#/432906/ or rumkammerat.dk/uab

- Still free tours in Copenhagen with CphX and DAC: take the boat, your bike or just wear your walking shoes...they are all very interesting and informs you on what is happening now in Copenhagen in terms of city development and architecture.
Read more on cphx.dk

6 juin 2010

Before Saterday's night fever...

Again a sunny day in the Danish capital city...I ride my bike into town to sense the atmosphere and enjoy some of the summer activities.

5 juin 2010

Metro, metro, metro, make me a square...

The project of the new Metro Cityring expected for 2018 will not only benefit the citizens on the mobility aspect. Each new stop, each new station will generate a node in the city's web: the underground project pops over ground and provides the urban space with new designing conditions for the new squares.

In order to assure that those squares will be appreciated and used by the neighbourhood's inhabitant, open workshops are organised to collect ideas and opinions from the people. The landscape architects move their studio out in the city...

When and where? 5 Saterdays in a row starting from the 29th May - today the 5th June, it takes place in the inner city at Kongens Nytorv and the stations of Gamle Strand, Kongens Nytorv, Marmorkirken, Rådhuspladsen and Østerport will be under the pen of the Københavner.
Read more on www.m.dk/byrum

Here are some suggestions to watch...(accessible on the website also)

A summer night's dream...?

Kvæstbroen, the dike next to the Skuespilhuset, was supposed to be a parking place. Fortunatelly it isn't. But it is a great activity nerve at summer! The concrete dike is transformed into sand beach and grass fields where you can play volley ball, soccer or just sit on the surrounding benches and enjoy the most beautiful sight of Copenhagen harbour.

Welcome to Ofelia Beach

Again it is something about places which were empty at some point but by their seasonal revival contributes to the city's identity map. Suddenly the Opera house seems closer and the old warehouses too.

Biking hom from the theater, passing by Kastellet and swifting along Langelinie and Svanemøllen strand. Lights and sound from the leisure harbour and from the café on Refshaløen gives the rythm and atmosphere to my route.

Rødt og grønt - Red and green

Skuespilhuset - Det Kongelig Teater - and Kvæstbroen

Location: København centrum, ved havnefronten
Tegnet af Lundgaard & Tranberg
International arkitektkonkurrence udskrevet af Kulturministeriet i 2001

One of my favourite occupation in Copenhagen, why? Go there, and you'll know...Interesting, interrogating and exciting plays with quality actors in spaces and rooms challenging the eyes and satisfying the senses.

This time the play, Rødt og grønt, questions the public on the social work in developping countries: how do the "helping immigrants" live, how do they act, how do they consider themselves and the people around them, what is their purpose? Compassion or ego-building? What kind of fake world in between home and abroad have they created in order to survive and get the impression of doing something meaningful in this world? It is more a critical parody on a trend existing some decennies ago but still what do we actually know about those people we send to attend to others? What gives us the impression we need to help and interfere, what gives us the right, and especially who? How far can we go before it is affecting someone else's vital rights?

From laughter to some kind of unpleasant feeling of blasphemy, this piece was greatly produced, everything laying in subtilities and details.

The friendly evening temperature allowed to enjoy the leasure installations on Kvæstbroen, in front of the theater.

See also post from the 27th April 2010

4 juin 2010

Kayak in the harbour

Saterday is Grundlovsdagen in Denmark. It celebrates the first Main Legislation adopted in the country on the 5th June 1849. It is as close as you get to the National day here and it celebrates also our democracy -I am not going to start a debat on that point here.

In stead of being lazy, I suggest a free kayak tour in the inner harbour! Realea and Mykayak are behind the idea and hope thereby to awake interest around the Bryghusgrunden project -Brewhouse project, see the posts on guided tours with DAC.

Where and when? At Mykayak, just by the Bryghusgrunden on Christians brygge, close to the Black Diamond, between 14:00 and 16:00
Read more on http://www.cphx.dk/#/428304/

Arkitektur løbet 2010

The pictures have arrived on cphx.dk... Unfortunately I am not to be seen in my athletic effort but the atmosphere is there. Maybe this will tempt some of you to participate next year.

More on http://www.cphx.dk/#/427952/

3 juin 2010

Munch, Warhol and Louisiana

Warhol after Munch - opening to the new exhibition at LOUISIANA Museum of Modern Art

Location: North from Copenhagen, at Humlebæk
Designed by Jørgen Bo and Wilhelm Wohlert
On demand by founder Knud W. Jensen in 1958 : extension for the main villa

Louisiana is this wonderful place: a museum with the finest modern art you could dream of -one of the biggest in Scandinavia!- in a building stating the best of the Danish functionalism and in a natural context that is breath-taking. I trip to Louisiana is always like an energy treat to me! I look forward to any visit and live a long time on the inspiration I gather there!

The founder Knud W. Jensen started up the museum with the intention to offer the Danes a place where they could enjoy the latest performances from the Danish Modern Art world. He had this idea to combine hot rooms and cool rooms on the visitor's road: the hot ones being the traditionnal Modern Art with wellknown and appreciated pieces and the cool ones being the last innovations eventually more complexe or provocative, more difficult to accept and understand. To this day it hosts up to 3000 pieces of post-war art history (after 1945).

The functionalist building which everyone identifies as Louisiana is actually the extension(s) to the original mansion. The dialog between the natural and biological context, the view over the Øresund and the masterpieces makes the art and space experience, one of a kind.

The sobre choice of materials the elegant lines and especially the spaces are typical for the Danish functionalism in architecture. But it is a functionalism integrated in its site and therefore much more succesful than maybe some work of Mies van der Rohe -remarkable buildings but so unfunctional in their functionalism. This integration to the site brings though one unfunctional effect: the museum is a labyrinth for those who aren't accustomed to the "wondering-around" visiting routine. The many meters of corridors -well, it is more than corridors because of the special relation to the nature just behind the window, but it is pure passage function- mustn't be very economical or ecological in terms of heating and maintenance...

picture - source : flickr.com

Warhol after Munch, the exhibition opening

I was among the fortunate ones to see the exhibition in preview with a short presentation speach from one of the people in charge.
For those who do not know Edvard Munch is the painter behind "The scream", which reputation has overtaken his creator. Norvegian painter from the 19th-20th century he is known to reveal through his work the cruel reality of life: illness and death. Tuberculose took his mother when he was 5 and his sister when he was 13 and he was himself weak in health. That could justify why the thought of death always darkens even his most light paintings.
Illness and death are very physical in his expression, linked to the suffering body -the "Madonna" is represented with an ill-looking foetus in the left corner, his self-portrait glows out of a dark space under which lies a skeleton arm, background figures seems like gosts, faces are thin and the eyes hollow. But I mean also physical in the way he uses the brush.
Somehow though I think -I choose to think- that this dark veil doesn't have to be a depressive and pessimistic view of life but rather a stetement of a harsh reality which is to be taken into consideration in order to enjoy and taste more intensively the good moments in life -so that you are conscious about your luck as long as you live.

Facing those heavy thoughts about life, you could be surprised to see a light spirit such as Andy Warhol. But the exhibition intends to show how Warhol actually reflects more deeply through his work and, on the opposite, how Munch maybe might be more superficial. The exhibitions traces the two artists' similarities: the choice of subjects as death, fear and sexuality, the use of repetition as a tool for strong and direct communication, the use of prints and gravure, their provocative spirit and critisized work.

In fact, Warhol used four of Munch's gravures, scaled them up and tainted them with those bright colours that are so typical for his work and the work of the publicity industry: Munch's selfportrait, the Madonna, the Scream and the Broche-Eva Mudocci. Their reproduction and sometimes combination -the Self-portrait and the Madonna, as a couple and a condensed life frieze- arrise new interrogations and reactivates the feelings that were at the origin of their making, but within a new era of communication and flashy effects.

Anyhow, the exhibition is fascinating and intriguing both by its object and subjects: the reasons to oppose or unite these two giants of the Modern Art world, aswell as the two painters themselves and their work. So for either one reason or the other, go and have a look. It is definitely worth it.

Farven i Kunsten -The colours in art-, quick review of the magnificent exhibition
I was there at Easter a first time but the quality, beauty and quantity is so overwhelming that review(s) are necessary and enjoyable. The aim of this exhibition is to show the evolution of the use and reflections behind colours in mordern pictural art through the 20th century. The technic is scalled up to show how colour is used, where, in which proportion and which tonalities. The reflactions from the different painters are to read on the walls through the visit. The masterpieces and their many authors are to be enjoyed. I discovered many painters I didn't know, saw some of the gods I knew, was surprised by some sides of others, ravished by the energy they transmit to the viewer: how incredible and wonderful that such a thing as a painting -an object- can be so alive! It is just fantastic! Go if you haven't yet -the exhibition is open till the 13th June!

pictures - source : www.louisiana.dk