An exhibition that intervenes in the public spaces of Aarhus in an endeavor to rediscover places and works of art and show how they interact.
By Catalina Guzman
Set up outside Godsbanen “Lost in Urban Space” was inaugurated as part of the Art Weekend Aarhus 2013, a festival presenting an exciting line-up of exhibitions, parties, seminars, artist talks, workshops, guided tours and much more.
This year AWA took place during three intense days between May 24th – 26th when the professional art milieu came out to (dis)play. The cultural party was held for the first time last year and from then on turned into a tradition of Aarhus spring. The activities of the festival spread out in different places around the city, some of which are ARoS, Kunsthal Aarhus, galleries, art schools, the cultural production centre Godsbanen, and many more.
In Sight-Out accepted the challenge and walked through the track without the fear of getting lost and willing to explore the impact of art in public space. Sabrina Spaabæk, the young and curly danish that curates the outdoor group exhibition guided us in our way under Aarhus sun.
It was Sabrina’s first experience as a curator, but she sounded very clear and determined about the idea and purposes of “Lost in Urban Space”:
“I chose these particular artists because they each represented a new and fresh angle to art in the public space, and they each worked with the subject in three different medias and artistic expressions.”
The three young artists she presented are Sune Lysdal, Kit Carlsen and David Ramírez and each of their art pieces can tell you something about themselves. Art in public spaces can sometimes turn private.
Sune Lysdal Jakobsen is a student at The Jutland Art Academy -lives in Copenhagen and goes to school in Aarhus- . He prefers to work with sculptures and installations. In the past years he worked building speakers and he is now experimenting with that. In his words his piece shows “The most extreme way of showing the process of how the speaker works”.
Three iron sculptures occupy the green spots hidden behind the railroad freight. Assembling an interaction with nature in the heart of the city noise. The installation creates sound just by using wind effect on the 0.75 millimeters of steel hanging from a tripod. On time the weather and humidity will rust the material and modify the sound, but he does not have a problem with that.
In fact, according to the aim of “Lost in Urban Space” the whole purpose of art in the public space is that it changes portraying the randomness and the constant transformation constituting the world.
A passing by Memory
David Ramirez is a Colombian artist who fell in love in Denmark. He is now married with a Dane and Aarhus is their home. Often motivated to create by his curiosity towards materials, he makes works that speak about his experiences and feelings of frustration, fear, desperation regarding the things he sees and feels day by day in his life.
His sculpture “Drawing of a Created Memory” is exactly that: a man sitting on a bench and staring down into the grass. Although his colourful appearance, he looks depressed, thoughtful. Only the ones that look a little closer are able to see the gun he holding in his hand.
The piece is based in David’s real life experience: the death of his dad. The painted figure stages a scene between life and death. Made of foam plastics and paints, which are not meant for outdoor, his colours will be dissolved by Aarhus rain. Time resemblance becomes a real factor in the human experience of transience. “Drawing of a Created Memory” is about a person that was washed away, leaving only a blurred memory of this man. David says the sculpture is a metaphor: “All the colors will be washed by rain and the residual is kind of a ghost a spirit that remains. The idea is to capture that moment between life and dead”.
Murals and the art of white
Kit Carlsen is a danish painter, who graduated from The Jutland Art Academy last year. She works and lives in Copenhagen and came back to Aarhus for a couple of days to work on this piece. Her impression is that the city has changed, evolved actually: “There are more things going on, in much more fun and alive”.
Kit’s work is a comment on the way artists make street art. “In graffiti you paint over someone else’s work to make space and draw attention to your own work instead”. In this case she used an existing graffiti to make her own, but in collaboration with the old one. The two pieces merge together to make a new and more interesting expression. Her curved layer of white painting covers some parts of the purple graffity below and highlights a new perspective. The same way the white stains on her black clothes emphasizes her luminous image while at the same time revealing she just finished painting minutes before the opening.
The old purple graffity was here in the time Kit lived and studied in Aarhus, and she remembered it clearly. The same way she expects the ones living in the city today to remember her mural. This is what street artists define as “unexpected stop effect on passers-by”. “The wall will be painted again by someone else” she says with a smile. Because that is point once again: The transformation of urban space. The wall accumulates layers of painting as a witness of people and life around.