Famous Artists Fight for the Chance to Create Great Art for SUND – University of Copenhagen

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10 May 2017

Famous Artists Fight for the Chance to Create Great Art for SUND

Maersk Tower

The Danish Building and Property Agency has organised a competition between internationally acclaimed artists for the chance to create signature art for the Maersk Tower. The project includes a spatial work meant to connect Nørre Allé and Blegdamsvej and a piece of video art.

The five competitors from the left: the duo Beka & Lemoine (photo: Marco Mona), the duo Elmgren & Dragset (photo: Elmar Vestner), Olafur Eliasson (photo: Brigitte Lacombe), Gunilla Klingberg (photo: Stuart Whipps) and Ragner Kjartansson (photo: Elisabeth Davids).

The two works must give staff, students and visitors a strong artistic experience in their everyday life, and put the building and the university on the national and global maps. The works must build on the concept of 'transformation' – a keyword in the art strategy for the Maersk Tower. 

The French-Italian duo Bêka & Lemoine compete against the Icelandic visual artist Ragnar Kjartansson in the competition for the video work, while the Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg compete against the Danish-Norwegian duo Elmgreen & Dragset and the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson in the competition for the spatially inclusive work.

Dean Ulla Wever stresses that the artwork must emphasise the openness of the university and the international level and social significance of the health and medical research conducted at SUND:

‘It is important to us that we are considered an open university with an international perspective, creating great value for society – both through our important research and by educating thousands of hands for the health sector. I want the two works to emphasise this openness and to contribute to making everyone feel welcome and want to come back. Art plays a unique, inspiring and indispensable part in creating the welcoming atmosphere we want the Maersk Tower and the Campus Park to have’.

The artists’ proposals for the two competitions must be submitted by 14 August and 4 September this year, respectively. The art committee will then select two pieces, which must be finished by the end of 2018.

The square facing Blegdamsvej in front of the Maersk Tower; the photo was taken earlier this year, before the fences were taken down. (Photo: Adam Mørk/C.F. Møller)

An Art Trailer and a Space in Flux
President of the Art Committee for the Maersk Tower and Senior Adviser at the Danish Building and Property Agency Jan Q. Rasmussen looks forward to two extraordinary contributions:

‘The two future pieces of art must form a basis for the artistic image of the Maersk Tower and health and medical research conducted at the university for many years to come. Both works must offer the users of the building and the citizens of Copenhagen challenging artistic experiences’.

Artistic Adviser for the Maersk Tower Jakob Fenger, who is also part of the artists’ group SUPERFLEX, has been responsible for drawing up an art strategy for the Maersk Tower. He elaborates on the ideas behind the proposal received by the artists:

‘The film can be seen as a trailer to the artistic story about the tower and its users. It is a new and relatively _ art format in public space, and as the film can be seen in a number of platforms and in various contexts it can contribute to disseminating the story to a wide audience. The work in the square and onwards through the area sets the scene for a more typical work for public space – though with a twist, as the idea is for it to be in a state of flux, e.g. it may only be visible at certain times and take on a different form at other times’.

The Art Committee for the Maersk Tower consists of:

Senior Adviser at the Danish Building and Property Agency Jan Q. Rasmussen; Rector of the University of Copenhagen Henrik Caspar Wegener; Dean of SUND Ulla M. Wewer; Faculty Director at SUND Anders W. Møller; Professor at SUND and President of the Art Committee for SUND Hans Wandall; Director of the A.P. Møller Foundation Henrik Tvarnø; Project Manager at the University of Copenhagen Campus Service Lars Ole Munch Nissen; Artistic Adviser and Artist Jakob Fenger; and Artistic Director at the Danish Building and Property Agency Tyra Dokkedahl.

The Art Committee is supplemented with specialist judges and advisers:
Curator at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Anders Kold; Artistic Director of Kunsthal Aarhus and Member of the Danish Art Foundation Committee for Visual Arts Project Funding Jacob Fabricius; Architect at C.F. Møller Mads Mandrup Hansen; and Landscape Architect at SLA Stig L. Andersson.

Read more about the Maersk Tower