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The Danish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale

June Exhibitions in Copenhagen 0

If heading to Copenhagen this June,'s selection of five exhibitions will help you save time in choosing which sights to see. Some are open already in May.

Emily Wardill
National Gallery of Denmark, “X-Room”, Copenhagen
May 11 – September 16, 2012

Rising British star and video artist Emily Wardill (1977) is exhibiting one of her works in Denmark for the first time. The film about love will be shown throughout the summer in the National Gallery's “x-room”, a space designated for contemporary experiments which has become a springboard for more than twenty artists in its eleven years of existence. And Wardill has customized her new video project specially for the “x-room”. The film, which the artist herself places somewhere between a thriller and poetry, is about a grieving neurologist who, after the death of his wife, completely immerses himself in his work in an attempt to dampen his emotions – until he meets another woman on the internet. Wardill's video works are always about the relationship between consciousness and the body; her objective is for the viewer to feel this “on their own skin”. 

In the last few years, Wardill has had exhibitions in Amsterdam and London; this year she also exhibited in the German city of Karlsruhe. Wardill is represented by several galleries, including STANDARD (Oslo, Norway). Her 16 mm film “Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck” was included in last year's 54th Venice Biennial pavilion, curated by Bice Curiger. 

Sølvgade 48-50
Copenhagen, Denmark

Thomas Florschuetz. Ohne Titel (Palast) #53. 2006. Courtesy Galerie m Bochum

ARKEN Museum, Copenhagen
May 12 – July 22, 2012

The phenomenon of Berlin as an art-scene magnet has gone so far as to warrant a whole exhibition devoted to the subject; and it is being held at one of the most prestigious contemporary art spaces in Copenhagen – the ARKEN Museum. In the show, a handful of artists with close ties to this magical German city present their impressions of Berlin – in a diverse range of mediums. Among the artists hailing from Denmark, Germany, France and New York, “Treffpunkt : Berlin” boasts such well-known Danish names as Elmgreen & Dragset, Jeppe Hein, Jacob Kirkegaard and Søren Lose, as well as the German photo-artist Wolfgang Tillmans – winner of the Turner Prize in 2000. One of the secrets behind Berlin's magnetism are the city's low rental prices, which is why the metropolis literally seethes with creative spirits assembled from throughout the world, who elsewhere could likely not afford to devote themselves solely to their muses. Klaus Wowereit, the mayor of Berlin, has captured this essence in his description of the city as “arm, aber sexy” (poor, but sexy) – which has also become the catchphrase of the exhibition.

Skovvej 100, DK-2635 Ishøj
Copenhagen, Denmark 

Thomas Kilpper “Pavilion for Revolutionary Free Speech”
Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen
May 24 – August 5, 2012

Those who visited the Venice Biennial last summer may remember Danish pavilion. It was created by the German artist Thomas Kilpper (1956) and dedicated to the issue of free speech. If you missed it, or wish to see it again, then head to Copenhagen, where from May 24 through August 5 the pavilion will be set up once again, in the southern wing of the Charlottenborg Art Space. The “Pavilion for Revolutionary Free Speech” was handed over to a curator who invited 18 artists from ten countries, and the portraits of 33 well-known public figures were carved into the wooden floor. These included politicians, business-people, media figures and church authorities from Denmark, Italy and other countries – people whom Kilpper associates with direct or indirect support of censorship and the harnessing of freedom of speech. Kilpper's concept created a storm in the Danish press, mostly because of the small number of local artists involved in the project. Politicians and others voiced their unhappiness about visitors to the pavilion trampling over their portraits. Meanwhile, next to the “main” pavilion, Kilper himself had created a “free speech corner” with a giant, colorful megaphone. During the opening of the Biennial, artists spoke through the huge megaphone, and anyone who wanted to could voice their truest thoughts out loud. Here's your chance to do it again.

Nyhavn 2
Copenhagen, Denmark

Elina Brotherus
Martin Asbaek Gallery, Copenhagen
June 1-30, 2012

The photographic and video works by the Finish artist Elina Brotherus (1972) have most often been set up as static self-portraits, either indoors or out, that shed new light the classic issue of an individual's relationship to space. At the end of April, the book “Elina Brotherus: Artist and Her Model” came out. About the album, the artist says that at forty years of age, it is strange to look at her earlier photographs from 15 years ago, and to see this young girl (herself) in the frame: “What has changed over this time? Flats, men; my face has aged. However, the aesthetic of my photos has remained unchanged.” Currently, the artist is actively working on solo shows and participating in group shows. Along with the solo show in Copenhagen's Martin Asbaek gallery this June, her works can be seen in London's Saatchi gallery, in the group show “Out of Focus: Photography”, going on through July 22. Elina Brotherus and the Latvian phtographer Alnis Stakle, along with a slew of other photographers from around the world, will be taking part in the festival in Brussels.

Bredgade 23
Copenhagen, Denmark


Danh Vo “We the People”
National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen
June 1 – July 1 , 2012

Throughout the month of June you can see, in person, New York's famous Statue of Liberty at the National Gallery of Denmark. It is, of course, a copy (indeed, on a scale of 1:1), but interestingly enough, it is being presented in a deconstructed manner, in which every piece has been set up as an individual sculpture – be it a finger, the torso, or what have you. The exhibition “We the People”, by the Vietnam-born, Danish citizen Danh Vo (1975), is made up of fifteen sculptures. The artist's background is worth highlighting as well. At the end of the Vietnam War, Vo's parents, with him in tow, climbed aboard a hand-made boat and along with about twenty other people (i.e, boat people), fled from the communistic regime, towards their dream-land of America. Unfortunately, or maybe luckily, the boat was picked-up by a Danish oil tanker and, following the law, the tanker delivered the boat to its home port, where the refugees received Danish citizenship. Vo's father, however, never stopped dreaming about America, which is why this private story has become a theme in Vo's art, often times reworking symbols of Western culture, especially American ones.

Sølvgade 48-50
Copenhagen, Denmark