Copenhagen Art Week Copenhagen, Denmark August 29 – September 7, 2014
2013 marked the debut of Copenhagen Art Week. It was organized by the art portal kunsten.nu, in their little office in an old warehouse on a bay-side dock, in which five people were trying their best to make the dream of 10 days of celebrating art come true. Now the event has grown quite a bit - both in regards to the event in general, and to the number of people involved.
The headline – The Making – brings into focus the very substance of art; art as something which cuts across all the boundaries and structures we mark out for it. What really creates a dynamic and interesting art scene? What inspires, what is required and what challenges? Publicity photo
In last year’s interview, the manager of Copenhagen Art Week, Julie Damgaard Nielsen, told us that the organizational team behind the event didn't choose, curate or decide who's in and who's out, and that the events were made very openly. This year, Copenhagen Art Week 2014 has been given the headline of The Making.This sparked our interest - does this mean that by giving a specific focus to the event, Copenhagen Art Week has started its own curatorial praxis?
Ready to give us an answer was Charlotte Bagger Brandt:
“Yes, the most important development from last year’s event has been the curatorial program revolving around The Making as the overall concept. This has given us the possibility to dig into the oft-neglected aspect of the pre-exhibition process that leads up to the final work or exhibition.”
“By highlighting the process, we want to provide a better insight into what it takes to make and exhibit art, and what are the challenges that the art scene must confront when trying to live up to it’s important social and critical role in contemporary society.”
“The idea behind conceptualizing Copenhagen Art Week 2014 under the title of The Making has been to build a platform upon which to discuss how the art scene functions in all its diversity. So we have invited smaller, as well as larger, institutions to participate by encouraging them to create an exhibition or event that relates to the overall theme. It has been interesting to observe the variety in the results.”
“Another thing that differs from last year is the fact that we started much earlier with various warm-up events, such as the salons during Stockholm Art Week and Aarhus Art Week.”
“In addition, we have initiated a more international focus this year, one which involves contributions from a number of international curators and artists.”
Copenhagen Art Week connects and calls attention to the bubbling and diverse Copenhagen contemporary art scene embracing museums, art centres, galleries, art fairs and project spaces
It is the first year that Bagger Brandt is curating Copenhagen Art Week, and she admits that it has been very important for her to open up the format and the discussion of the whole scene, which she sees as a large ecosystem relating to itself on many different levels.
So we asked: Copenhagen Art Week works as a platform for art, and that includes everything from internationally respected art museums to alternative art spaces. Do you come across the situation in which institutions with more resources and stronger programs overshadow their smaller peers?
“The idea to include both small and large institutions has the specific aim of breaking down the completely misleading idea that the art world is controlled and ruled by a small clique. The fact is that the art world works as an ecosystem. We have different functions and independent practices, but they are still interrelated and interdependent. Within this incredible ecosystem we are all equally important. Copenhagen Art Week stresses this interdependence and points to the fact that a vibrant and diverse art scene needs both artist-run spaces, commercial galleries and larger institutions.”
This year's Copenhagen Art Week has a number of ambassadors representing different parts of the scene, and they will each recommend five things to look for in the event program. These recommendations will be revealed on the event’s web site.