Wa(l)king Copenhagen 1-10 May – reflections and videos
With the first 10 walks completed, covering some 180 kilometres, we could witness the first 120 micro performances or “signs of life”, as we prefer to call them, scattered as acupunctural insertions around the city.
We have seen the city from early morning rooftop in Vesterbro, evening sunset in Vestre Kirkegård, Amager Strandpark on a sunny afternoon, midnight mass at Refshaleøen, and from a one-way path around The Lakes.
We have visited screeching railway lines, disused industrial cement constructs, art installations in Ishøj, windy corners on cavernous Nørrebro streets, secretly graffitied tunnels, lush morning lakesides, empty vast playing fields, and natural Nordic savannah wetlands. The first lines in a cumulative emotional mapping of the city.
All walks reflected on and captured the emptiness and the sense of solitude, part due to the static state of movement during this lock down, but they also found and captured moments which are fragile. Frozen faces and frozen hands at night, sounds accentuated, shadows of the artists’ own moving bodies walking slowly in acute sunrays, people wanting to approach but also keeping distance.
Perhaps the last full week of the lockdown as fully captured in Tim Hinman’s evening shots from Copenhagen Central. This adds to the everyday sense of Nordic urban noire tristesse, often dripping in functionalist solutions and organization of the public space. And hardly a coke bottle or an old newspaper or a child plaything to be seen anywhere – little signs and traces of humans. Corona virus has certainly vacuumed the city for waste and all. All dressed up and nowhere to go.
The voices we heard were questioning voices. “Where am I?”, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen asks everyone she meets, asking strangers for directions. The “I am lost” referring perhaps not just to which street, but to our common situation and time, which is seeking answers. Thierry Geoffroy is confrontational and playful with his graphic questions sprayed across his endless supply of bivuac tents, with “Is coronavirus the end of democracy?” as his chosen starting point for the project.
Annette Skov questions the disappearance of heathlands and biodiversity. Annika B. Lewis recites her artistic strategies of artivism juxtapostioning with choreographed movement, whilst Jomi Massage’s poems of unfulfilled promises of democracy are recited whilst sculpturing naked limbs as a manifest for the political body.
The range of feelings and senses stimulated was also remarkable. Jørgen Teller’s playful percussion with objects and surfaces was joyful and childlike, and the insistence of the impulsive allowed us as playmates to reach into our own memory bank and reload childish moments.
In many walks we were invited to relocate, notably in Gry Worre Hallberg’s 27 km walk with almost static and serene landscaped sites, perfectly lifted out of the golden age of Danish landscape paintings but loaded with a sense of the surreal and mythical.
Annette Skov’s midnight fire gave a sense of ceremonial conclusion to the first 10-day cycle – with still 90 days to continue the explorations of the city as it develops from day to day.
Here are 10 chosen videos for you to get to know this city and this time from completely different perspectives and as interpreted by 10 different artists. It will lead you into this emotional and visual labyrinth we are constructing over 100 days.
Stay tuned on www.facebook.com/walkingcopenhagen
1 May: Thierry Geoffroy / Colonel
2 May: Gry Worre Hallberg / Sisters Hope
3 May: Jørgen Teller
4 May: Annika B. Lewis
5 May: Michiel Tange Van Leeuwen
6 May: Mikkel Harder Munck-Hansen
7 May: Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen
8 May: Tim Hinman
9 May: Jomi Massage
10 May: Annette Skov
Photo: Thierry Geoffroy