Archive for June 28th, 2008

midsummer

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

June 23 was Sankt Hans Aften (St John’s Eve), which is how the Danes celebrate midsummer.
We were told that it involved a bonfire near the water, plus a speech and song or two. Maybe the burning of a witch effigy, probably some beer. And so, without really knowing what to expect, we went over to the big town of Holbaek to go check it out.

These people are no joke.
The woodpile for the bonfire was the size of a U-Haul truck. Maybe bigger.
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You might not be able to tell from the pics, but it was massive.
And it wasn’t near the water, it was in the water, on a humongous platform.

We got to the park in Holbaek around 8 pm. There were a few mellow hours of folks just hanging out at the park socializing, and a couple of cruise-ship-esque bands playing on a covered stage.

Around 11 pm, everyone trotted over to the slope facing the bonfire. A woman went up to the podium between the flags, and just started speaking. While she spoke, the bonfire was lit. No fanfare, nothing.
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As she kept speaking, the bonfire went berserk.
Then everyone sang a couple of traditional Danish songs.

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Towards the tail end, some fireworks were also set off nearby
almost as an afterthought.
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And that was it!
Simple, and to the point.
Absolutely amazing.

the wind-down

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Time slows down, time speeds right back up again. It’s been a mildly melancholy day today: my stint at the residency is over, and tomorrow is departure day. Peter, Lovo and Hugo just left, and a few others are away for the weekend, so Soelyst definitely seems as though it’s quietly winding down, for the June crew, at least. There are still a few more days of adventure ahead (off to Finland and Estonia!), but the amazing-ness of this past month in Denmark, particularly all the quiet time here in lovely little Jyderup, and all the new artist-friends I’ve made, makes it hard to leave.
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I’ve been remiss in posting photos: probably won’t be able to do this in earnest until back in beautiful West Oakland, but here’s phase one, a few random strays, just for kicks.

Osmo and Mauri, raising a ruckus at Soelyst artist Carla Ahlander‘s exhibition opening:
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Tonia and Mads clowning around at the opening:
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Hot dogs in front of the Radhuset in Copenhagen:
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tree-ish sculpture in front of Rosenborg Slot:
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New and old sections of the Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK):
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Danish install humor at SMK:
sculpture of a dead-looking drunk guy next to a bunch of historic sculptural busts:
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Wofford and puppy at SMK (borrowed off museum cart of kid’s toys):
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Tivoli, the O.G. theme park that Disney took some major cues from:
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Soelyst artist Koken Ergun‘s video screening and artist talk at Karriere Bar in Copenhagen:
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Karriere Bar (started by artists, with decorative contributions from
Olafur Eliasson, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Franz Ackermann and others):
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Exit08, show of work by graduating master’s students at GL Strand:
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