Metropolis Residencies 2018

Metropolis Residency is a unique international urban residency programme in Copenhagen aimed at performing artists with an interdisciplinary approach, researching, creating and producing in public space and the public realm.

In 2018, Metropolis organised three residencies of one month. Each residency had a specific focus and was for five participants.

June 2018:
Engaging the City
Participatory creative processes and engaging and involving local residents and citizens.

Medio July – medio Aug. 2018:
Walking the City
Navigating and exploring places, memories and narratives of the city.

Medio Aug – medio Sept. 2018:
Balancing the City
Circus arts contextualised by space, architecture and flow of the city.

NB! The call for 2019 will open in November 2018. Sign up for our mailing list in English or Danish to get the information, or keep an eye on this site.


ENGAGING THE CITY – meet the participants

Photos from end-of-residency presentations:


For the first residency, Engaging the City, these five artists participated:

Lukas Matthaei, Germany

Lukas Matthaei has organised actions and performances in Berlin in the 90’s with various artists at different locations in the inner city, which at that time was still open and undefined. His later artistic practice is equally marked by a theoretical and literary background as well as by the immediate confrontation with the historical, social and political dynamics that permeate urban networks. Since 2000 he has realised more than 50 works of multiple genres in Germany, Europe, North Africa, Egypt and the Middle East – performative interventions, productions, installations, discourse productions and media narratives.

During this residency, Lukas wants to work performatively with an ethnopoetic approach, focus on practices of healing, music, migration, and rituals from European to migrant communities in Copenhagen.

Hannah Loewenthal, South Africa

Hannah Loewenthal is a socially engaged artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. Whilst in London, Hannah discovered dance and on returning to Cape Town in 2004, she went on to train and work with Remix Dance Company for two years. Furthermore Hannah went on to run the education programme at Cape Africa Platform as well as working closely with artist Mamela Nyanza on the deconstruction of female identity. Hannah considers her core interest, research and work as an investigation into bringing unlooked at and unnoticed moments of human interaction into focus; Exploring meeting places between pedagogy and performance, dance, design & embodied practice as vital for social artistic practice and innovation.

In Copenhagen, Hannah will work with the “Residency as a Durational Performance”. Keywords for her residency will be: Settle, Unsettle, Re-settle. Support structures, once-off encounters, new forms of ‘participatory’, Movement, improvisation and sound as media to disrupt the line between private and public. She is particularly interested in the juxtaposition of accidental meetings and interactions between herself and ‘locals’. Informal meetings that happen between ‘the foreigner’ and ‘the local’.

Naja Lee Jensen, Denmark

Naja Lee Jensen has a BA in Acting from Norwegian Theatre Academy and an MA in Fine Arts from the Art Academy in Oslo. Naja Lee Jensen occupies the in-between space between stage art and fine art. Her interest is directed towards the relationship between perception, body and space.

During the residency, Naja Lee Jensen wants to research the contextual role of the artist and the role of art in public space. What is the connection between art and space, art and society, art and politics when working in public space?What strategies do we as artists use when working with art in public space?And what values are connected to art in public space, if any, from the artist, the organisers, politicians, audience?

Rita Hoofwijk, The Netherland

Rita Hoofwijk graduated at the Maastricht Academy of Performing Arts. Her thesis ‘Verwondering verkennen’ (free translation: ‘exploring wonder’) was awarded with the annual thesis award of the faculty of arts. Rita Hoofwijk deconstructs and redefines what we might call ‘common’. She creates circumstances in their simplest expression, inviting the spectator to become part of it in order to see his/her environment differently.

During the residency, Rita Hoofwijk will work on her project ‘while waiting’. What happens when we fall into the experience of time as soon as we (have to) wait? In the city there are plenty of moments and occasions, when we are waiting, alone or together. Rita will investigate this circumstance of waiting.

Cristina Maldonado, Mexico/Czech Republic

Christina Maldonado is a performance artist based in Prague, who combines experimental theatre, dance, live video interventions, participatory art, new and old media in site-specific projects, staged performances and installations. Since 2001 she has been working independently, directing and performing experimental theatre. She has presented her work in diverse contexts and countries. Her most recent production is Stereopresence, a video performance addressing the topic of Alzheimer using multiple live video channels.

Currently she is interested in the concept of devising frames for interaction that are inserted in everyday life. She started working in the basic cell of interaction and framed a family archeology, art workshops and actions. Three families brought their old photographs and spent time looking at the pictures, talking about them, categorizing them, and exploring how to make a video-collage together through a video device of interaction that Maldonado prepared.

I understood from this experience how memory, creativity and affective connection are present in art, and that made me visualise types of interactions as artistic media that can infiltrate everyday life relationships and activities, in the understanding that a social relation can be a product of a designed space and situation.”

In Copenhagen, Maldonado will work with the concept of exchange between individuals in public space. She will work collaboratively with a group of people/families with connections to memory, identity and involving personal narratives, artifacts, place and objects. And finally she will work with the perspective of rituals in contemporary society.

See video interviews with these five artists here.

WALKING THE CITY – meet the participants

Photos from end-of-residency presentations:

For the second residency, Walking the City, these five artists participated:

Kim Sandra Rask, Denmark

I work with Visual Art, Video Art, Sound Art, Sculpture, Concept Art, Live Performances, Installations and Sound-design for Performing Arts.

We walk, why?
One foot in front of another. One step, then one more. Another foot in front of the first. Then another step. Walking is the simplest and most basic means of transportation and yet a complex capability to learn with a high level of motorial coordination and balance required. Are we in it for the transportation of our body? Is walking only a physical and practical activity or is it something more existential, where perhaps the mental state gives us something more meaningful than we expect?

I will create a site-specific podcast with a mixture of fictional and non-fictional content, storytelling and interviews with a touch of artistic freedom. In order to cover the subject, I have identified the following sub-themes which highlights different aspects of and conflicts related with the main theme of the podcast: Brain and Walking in public spaces and nature, Walking in “silence”, Walking and talking.

Christiane Hütter, Germany

I am an artist and urban game designer (education: psychologist & scriptwriter), core member of the collective/network Invisible Playground. I have been designing games and playful experiences on different scales all over the world, e.g. during the Field Office. I also co-founded the performative writing group Pussy Write and the Society for Cultural Optimism. Recently I started curating and organizing the Social Fiction Lab, an open Lab for artists/programmers/thinkers/makers to work together on visions of possible futures.

Site specific writing as social hack
As I do in Berlin with Pussy Write, I am going to work on site-specific writing in Copenhagen, often playful and participatory. It starts with random walking, sudden interest, a hook. Writing on location. Pussy Write is low key- trying to give a voice to people, who otherwise would not even think about writing. Whoever wants to join can become a Pussy. We are going to write with and for people, invent and test different kinds of writing rule sets, text forms, presentation forms and displays. How does text in public space become an invitation itself?,

Judith Hofland, The Netherlands

I work on location and approach my audience mostly individually, by speaking to them via video and/or headphones. I use new techniques and unconventional presentation forms such as audio and video tours, because I want to challenge my audience to act and to respond to their actions. This way I let them look at their own behavior. I am always investigating how far I can take my audience. How much freedom can I give the public? How do you use the technique for an optimal experience to take the audience into a world? The central question is how you, as a theatre maker, can ensure that the viewer feels free to make choices, but is surprised afterwards about what he or she has done.

What do you plan to work on/with during the residency?
I like to play with reality, what’s real, what isn’t, what’s a story, what’s theatre? How can the audience have an active part in my work, whilst driven by their own choices? My goal is to make people aware of their subjective perspectives and feelings. I imagine walking into a video projection on a building by accident. Now you’re in the spotlight; what happens? Do other people go in the light and play with their shadows? Does the projection react on the movement of people passing by?

Nicola Visser, South Africa/Denmark

Nicola is a community dance artist, teacher and maker based in Aarhus, Denmark. She has been performing, directing and teaching for 18 years since graduating from the Laban Centre London. Since 2000 she has founded, directed and produced innovative interdisciplinary projects in Cape Town.

Walking the water
Key words for the residency in Copenhagen: Coastline, intertidal zone, boundaries, margins, skin, nature, culture, walking, swimming, resting, vertical, horizontal, arrival, direction, climate, rhythm, tides, foreigner, alien, immigrant, meeting.

Methodology: Walking, Resting, Swimming.

Attention to internal spatial planes of movement, through these actions and the viewpoints and attention paths they offer of the city. As a foreigner to Copenhagen, the sites and routines in the city spaces are unfamiliar. The naval signaling code comes to mind – L.O.S.T. ( Looking Over Strange Terrain) – the landscape, the city, the sea, the rhythms of people, the movement of non-human life are sensed with new eyes and open attention.

Alicja Rogalska, Poland/UK

My projects are attempts to practice a different political reality here and now, creating space for many voices to be heard and to co-exist, whilst collectively searching for emancipatory ideas for the future. The recurring subjects of my work are: agency, body and affect especially in relation to issues such as class inequalities, global capitalism and international division of labour.

What do you hope to achieve through the residency?
Referencing the common activities of tourism, walking and pilgrimage, I would like to propose creating an alternative, performative guided tour of the city projecting ideas for its imaginary future – reinterpreting existing places, objects or behaviors through verbal and visual narrative and subtle performative interventions. The tour would include storytelling, looking at the city through constructed devices, simple actions such as touching things or ingesting food and role play exercises. Ideas for the tour will be generated through conversations and interactions with different communities inhabiting the city, including the diasporas, who would contribute ideas for the route and the content of the tour, creating a collaboratively conceived exercise in looking, deconstruction and re-interpretation, but most importantly – having a horizon of a more just, egalitarian future society in mind.

See video interviews with these five artists here.


BALANCING THE CITY – meet the participants

Photos from end-of-residency presentations:

For the August residency, Balancing the City, these five artists participated:

Eliška Brtnická, Czech Republic

I am graduated at the Academy of performing arts in Prague – Nonverbal theater department. I have been continuing at the doctor’s program working on my research of choreographic possibilities in aerial movement.

Working title: Overlooking
I will focus on live image/act that can interrupt a casual passer-by, trying to find a suitable format. Technically I will use the aerial acrobatics and its technical shift from the classical aerial apparatus and also bits of contortion technic. The crucial element is to search different distances and points of view of the spectators.

Jakov Labrović, Croatia

In 2009 I have finished my master’s degree in Sculpture Arts from Arts Academy University in Split, Croatia. In 2010 I have founded the contemporary circus collective ‘ROOM 100’ with my colleague Antonia Kuzmanić.

Working title: “Barehanded Sculptor”
During Balancing the City residency period, I would like to build new balancing apparatus. Rather than working with my usual apparatus – canes for hand balancing – and taking it out and adopting it to public space, I would like to explore Refshaleøen area barehanded. I would like to explore the architecture of this area – the objects that are related to shipyard history and new reconstructions – and find secondary use for them as a balancing prop. I would like to explore objects like fences, hydrants, benches, pipes, skate park and so on. I would also like to explore the relation of the contorted body to this new apparatus.

Miradonna Sirkka, Finland

Master degree of Visual Culture and Contemporary Art at Aalto University 2011-2015. Main work: Recover Laboratory is a platform for surreal art experiences; immersive, site-specific artworks, performances and temporary installations. Immersive works are invasively personal experiences where participants submerge themselves in their desired way while entering the artwork alone.

Working title: “Finding the outlines – Do you start where I end?”
I would like to concentrate on the connection between humans and objects, and how space is related to this, taking it all inside, contouring. Where does space start and end? Where does my body and my equipments’ space start and end? Where are the assumed contours? This topic interests me because I want to find out what is the main thing that separates performers from audience.

Also I am playing with cringe and awkwardness because it mixes up the roles of performer and audience. By awkwardness I mean happenings that last too long or too little time or happenings that include too much or too little information. I am fascinated about short, almost invisible moments that mix up situations.

Gemma Palomar Delgado, Spain

I graduated in Circus Arts in 2008 specialising in chinese pole. Exploring ways in which I can incorporate contemporary dance physical theatre in my chinese pole work, blurring the distinction between both to create a fluid, coherent and original performance style. My aim is to draw the audience beyond the first-glance appreciation of the circus tricks and allow them to identify with the motivation and meaning beneath. I am currently studying a Master programme in “Contemporary Circus Practices” at DOCH, Stockholm.

Working title: “ pArte de…”
The idea of this project is to research in a multidisciplinary piece between performance and participatory art, in this case in a public space, using relational aesthetics and contemporary circus. Focusing on a vital language that celebrates movement/dance, playfulness, imagination and the magic of life. The aim is to create a contemporary circus performance within an installation, blurring the boundaries with fields such as Movement, Dance Theatre, Improvisation, Circus, etc… And making each one of them the inspiration for others.

Nadine O Garra, United Kingdom

My main circus techniques are vertical rope and “danse escalade”, a discipline that combines dancing and bouldering. I have developed various projects in solo and in collaboration that combine stage and aerial acrobatic practice with video and animation work. For the past years I have worked with my solo “Love in Times of Ikea”, and in parallel with Nathalie Fixon, photographer, under the name of NADNAT Productions, where we combined our work in order to create site-specific stop motion animations. 

Working title: Point of View
By placing a large window frame in the public space, I want to explore the notion of looking, watching, observing and where we stand whilst doing so. This window is used as an apparatus for vertical dance, while also creating a frame from which the audience observes the surroundings and the interactions of the passers by. I want to invite a small audience on one side of the frame, and on the other side intervene with the elements inherent in the space, different for each performance like a backdrop that changes between two acts.

See video interviews with these five artists here.

Background, context & vision
Metropolis is an international platform for urban creation with a clear focus on working in the existing urban environment. We have worked site-specifically since 1981 with more than 200 creations on 125 sites/situations. From street theatre over location-based performance, site-specific creations, community based work, urban interventions and immersive installations.

From 2007, Metropolis has presented artistic projects in public space during the summer, but built on a cyclic process of exploratory meetings, laboratories, site-specific residencies, collaborative productions and presentations.

Though our activities are rooted in the performing arts, we have developed strong links to the fields of architecture, urban design, visual arts, sound based artwork and digital media as art in the public realm has become more and more interdisciplinary in its exploration of the performative city. From being purely location-based, work is now strongly place-based and contextualised, i.e. linked to the human, the social, the symbolic, the historic, the cultural, the functional and the aesthetic.

Metropolis is about work which is public in many ways – researched, created and presented in the public domain. It is about engaging citizens in issues which are often at the core of civil society. And it is about using and developing new performative formats, aesthetics and languages to maintain a clear artistic voice in contemporary culture.

Residency 1:
Engaging the City
Participatory creative processes and engaging and involving local residents and citizens.

A residency for artists working with participation and involvement of inhabitants / citizens / locals / public as an essential part of the creation, project and/or experience.

For you as an artist, involvement is a working method for dealing with contemporary society in terms of examining topics such as social/human relations, intercultural relations, political issues, democracy, societal engagement, morals/ethics, etc.

Site: We will help you find a site/area in Copenhagen that gives you the optimal base for your research and work. The Metropolis office on Refshaleøen will be your indoor working space.

Period: 4-29 June 2018

Residency 2:
Walking the City
Navigating and exploring places, memories and narratives of the city.

A residency for artists presenting their work in the format of walks. You take your audience on a walk to immerse them in an artistic experience closely related to the route, the sites and/or the act of walking. Your work can be cross-disciplinary and perhaps involve media/technology.

Site: We will help you find a site/area in Copenhagen that gives you the optimal base for your research and work. The Metropolis office on Refshaleøen will be your indoor working space.

Period: 16 July-10 August 2018

Residency 3:
Balancing the City
Circus arts contextualised by space, architecture and flow of the city.

A residency for artists working with circus based arts. You have a wish to explore and develop your work in a site-specific context. You may also be working with an apparatus that you want to adapt to or take into public space.

Site: Refshaleøen – a former shipyard area, where the Metropolis office is based.

Period: 10 August-4 September 2018

Residency Structure

The residencies will be based in Copenhagen on Refshaleøen, the former shipyard area, which is just 10 min. from the city centre.

The area is now a vibrant place for creative companies, architects, artist workshops, climbing and skate facilities as well as craft workshops and small shipyards for boat repairs. An incredible post-industrial landscape with endless possibilities to work on location and the freedom to create on site. The Metropolis office is the indoor base for all artists.

A typical month-long residency will have a basic structure with space for individual mentoring and reflection, dynamic group sessions as well as interaction with real situations and with local artists. We believe that interaction is key to working in the public space, although there is naturally time for reflection.

Each group of artists will be requested to make an artistic trace as a result of their residency. The format will be completely open and will become part of a Metropolis archive of reflection.

We will also link the residency to our public programme and projects related to the themes of the residencies.

We will invite a mentor for each residency, who will be part of the selection process, conduct an introductory workshop, and be present to support the participants.

Metropolis’ new four-year artists-in-residence programme for 2018-21 is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation.


The participation of some of the selected artists has been supported by the IN SITU ACT project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union