A convergence between art, craftsmanship and architecture. Within the five perimeter rooms of Den Frie, five teams of artists and architects will create new projects unique to each space. These projects will be developed as collaborative responses that meld two similar yet distinct fields of inquiry: art and architecture.
With a renewed fascination for traditional crafts and skills, this year's summer exhibition, Techne , n.:, will cast light on various traditions of craftsmanship and making in the context of art and architecture.
Each year, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art organises a summer exhibition, which spotlights one or more new trends and innovations within a given field of contemporary art. This year the Berlin- and London-based art and architecture collective KWY has instigated a number of collaborations, which include artists, architects and craftsmen from Denmark and further afield to create a number of purpose-made works that collectively present a contemporary vision, a synthesis of art, craftsmanship and architecture creating new spaces, forms and languages.
Re-purposing the Greek term "techne" as "a convergence between art, craftsmanship and architecture," the departure point for the summer exhibition was Ruskin's treatise on machine production and the necessity for a human connection with the means of making as well as Wagner's theories on the future of art and Gesamtkunstwerk with a proposition to reinvigoration of the debate on what it means to collaborate and make. The establishment of Den Frie and the concurrent Skønvirke period represents a particularly important chapter not only in Danish cultural history but also within its equivalent European movements. J. F. Willumsen's building, with its eclectic references and imbued spirit of a "total artwork" is the perfect embodiment of these ideas unifying to create form and space. The exhibition is therefore a timely re-enactment of this ethos.
Within the five perimeter rooms of Den Frie, five teams of artists and architects will create new projects unique to each space. These projects will be developed as collaborative responses that meld two similar yet distinct fields of inquiry: art and architecture. Varying in scale, material, colour, texture, and technique, these works define the space with the personal imprints of their makers, standing as architectural artefacts or fragments that recall the sociologist Henri Lefebrve's notion of space as a purely humanistic one, where objects we encounter confirm our presence to an ever-exchanging, living world. An adjacent exhibit will document each team's approaches, processes, and means of making. The breadth of this exhibition will span from textiles to ceramics, from the handmade to the machine-made, and from art to architecture.
Each room within the museum will be defined by an architectural element or typology that has been chosen by the collaborators of that space. The chosen typologies include plinth, column, wall, roof and garden. Additionally each space has a chosen material medium and these are wood, clay and plaster, metal mesh, textile, and cement.
KWY is a multidisciplinary platform investigating the nature of collaboration within the context of specific projects, in art, architecture, curation, and writing. KWY was founded in 2009 by architects Ben Allen and Ricardo Gomes in Berlin, and curator/gallerist and editor James Bae in Los Angeles. By practice, KWY projects are collaborations between the principles and an invited specialist of their field. With few initial preconceptions, each project begins with dialogue and analysis between the collaborators. This process-oriented methodology often leads to diverse thoughts that are otherwise unexpected, and unimaginable. Recent collaborators include artists, writers, curators, educators, design firms, and other architecture offices.
The participating artists and the constellations they are working within are Ben Allen (UK), James Bae (USA), Jan Bünnig (Germany), Jesper Carlsen (Denmark), Ricardo Gomes (Portugal/Germany), Asako Iwama (Japan/Germany), Gianna Ledermann (Switzerland), Akane Moriyama (Japan/Sweden), Anders Hellsten Nissen (Denmark/Germany), PioveneFabi (Italy), Julian Stair (UK) and Hither Yon (USA/Germany).
The exhibition is supported by The Danish Art Agency, Copenhagen Art Committee, The Augustinus Foundation, The Beckett-Foundation, DANMARKS NATIONALBANKS JUBILÆUMSFOND, DREYERS Foundation, Knud Højgaards Foundation, Trepilefonden, Dansk Tennis Foundation, The Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Foundation, Petersen Tegl A/S, Kvadrat A/S, Art Engineering, s-hamacher and The Italian Embassy.
Image: PioveneFabi, Jesper Carlsen, Akane Moriyama, Jan Bünnig, Gianna Ledermann. Photos: KWY. © KWY
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