It was the best of times, it was the shortest of times. For a brief moment, Copenhagen Contemporary brought the world of installation art to the center of the Danish Capital. It was always intended to be a temporary project, but for many, it became an inspirational sanctuary, where you could mingle with 88 Zebra finches as they performed their magical riffs or be transported to a 6 hour Ragnar Kjartannsson concert. That came to an end last year as Papirøen now being transformed into something completely different.
With backing from the City of Copenhagen and a healthy foundation-base, Copenhagen Contemporary re-opened in the former shipyard area, Refshaleøen this summer. Located in the Burmeister & Wain’s welding building, the art center has now an impressive 7.000m² at its disposition. The expansion of space provides Copenhagen Contemporary with new possibilities, which CC STUDIO reflects. The concept is designed to attract, engage and activate a younger audience to the universe of contemporary art.
Copenhagen Contemporary invited the Danish collective, SUPERFLEX and the international renowned American artist, Doug Aitken, to start a new era of installation art in Copenhagen. Wandering through these voluminous halls, absorbing first SUPERFLEX’s One Two Three Swing! inviting the audience to playful dialogue and interaction. As I entered the adjoining hall, where a massive mirror-clad pendulum was in full motion, I found my wife lying on the floor under the pendulum, her gaze transfixed to the hypnotic motion above her. I must admit, I was for a nano of a second concerned for her wellbeing, but then she was quickly joined by others who had obviously read the intro. Another example of audience participation and my lack of preparation.
Finally, the beat from SONG 1 by Doug Aitken, enticed me to the last hall. A visual, spatial and audio experience I shall long remember. Based on the pop classic, I Only Have Eyes For You, Aitken disects and re-composes contemporary modern living sublimly. For 35 minutes, the audience was transfixed to a song constantly reinventing itself, echoing decades of American urban and cultural evolvement. A masterpiece of composition.
Thanks Copenhagen Contemporary. A new era kicked-off in blissful style.
Content & Images: Phillip Mills
Related articles Copenhagen Contemporary and Refshaleøen:
Copenhagen’s Paper Island, The Party Ends
Copenhagen Contemporary: 88 Zebra Finches Take A Bow
Transitional Dwellings: A Place To Be