Trip to Copenhagen

As part of the course we went to Copenhagen for five days. It was a really useful trip, especially for the FMP, as I saw loads of art that ties in with my own ideas. It was also nice to go to a great city. Here, in no particular order, is my five works of art that I liked the best.

Bruce Nauman’s creepy dead animal mobile in the Copenhagen Contemporary gallery. Initially I wasn’t particularly impressed, but then found I couldn’t stop watching the weird dead animal casts spinning around. The lighting was really atmospheric. What I liked most was standing in the middle and having the objects float around me; this meant the viewer could literally be inside the work of art.

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Celeste Boursier Mougenot’s From Here to Ear. In this installation there is a very tranquil room full of amped up electric guitars. Lots of zebra finches live in the room and land on the guitars. When they fly off again the guitar strings are plucked. The strings are all tuned into harmony. Again the viewer is physically immersed in the piece. It was such a calming environment and the music the birds played was actually great. I also thought initially from the description that the piece would be completely ridiculous, then sat in the room for half an hour.

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William Kentridge’s installations (these were probably my favourite). I love his drawing style and immersive approach. In the Refusal of Time sound and vision are all around the viewer. There are five different projections which fit together creating a beautiful montage. He is also adept at recreating the effect of early silent films. He has really great themes in his work too. Another great piece was a room mocked up to look like a study in 1912. I also really like the weird melancholic/determined atmosphere of all his work. I was amazed by the Louisiana Museum where his work was being shown.

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Playground by Zhang Yunfeng in the GL Strand museum which consists of loads of screens including televisions, ipads and laptops, which show very short films of him and his friend carrying out bizarre tasks. I loved the montage presentation which shows multiple films, the viewer doesn’t know where to look but eventually adjusts, and then from all the different material a greater picture emerges. The films are also a really weirdly charming evocation of friendship.

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Matisse’s paintings in the National Gallery of Denmark. Matisse I think was probably a better painter than Picasso. In a painting like the Green Stripe the handling of the paint is unmatched today, it is so thick but perfectly juts off the plane and creates this brilliant object that can’t be reproduced photographically, and despite what one would think of as unnatural colours, more or less perfectly evokes the idea of flesh. I also find with Matisse and other French painters from that era I can spend longer looking at one painting than any other work.

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