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Olafur Eliasson's The Collectivity Project Opens at U-TURN Contemporary Arts Festival
Several people collaborate in the elaboration of the installation by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, 'The Collectivity Project', at the contenmporary arts festival U-TURN, in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 11, 2008. Photo: EFE/Keld Navntoft

COPENHAGEN.- U-TURN is the official winner of the Danish Arts Council’s competition for undertaking a festival of contemporary art in Denmark. In February 2006 a jury appointed by the Arts Council chose U-TURN over the other finalists, Herning Art Museum and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. In the selection of U-TURN, emphasis was placed on an elaborate and well documented exhibition programme which supported the ambition on making U-TURN Quadrennial for Contemporary Art a recurring art event of international standing.

Through its massive selection of both national and international artists U-TURN constitutes a turning point for contemporary art in Denmark. In this way U-TURN will take part in placing contemporary art on the cultural agenda, generating a broader debate.

The focal point of the quadrennial’s exhibitions is the notion of the U-turn as a movement and a radical change of direction. Art stands in a dynamic relation to changes in contemporary culture, and it is in itself an expression of cultural processes. With the U-turn sights can be set in a new direction – offering a new outlook for the audience and new insights into cultural self-awareness and on the context of the Danish art scene.

The main exhibition in the Carlsberg precinct between Vesterbro and Valby will be hosted in a raw and sensational 4,000 m2 bottling hall. In addition, the Carlsberg Academy garden will be open to the public for the first time, where art pieces will be installed in connection to the exhibition. Together with Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, this constitutes an exhibition area of over 5,000 m2.

In close collaboration with Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, there will be a solo exhibition by the Danish artist Jesper Just. Among other works, he will present the premiere of a new piece of work which has been produced in collaboration with U-TURN and has been recorded in Bucharest and is specially made for Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center. Installations and works will also be exhibited in public spaces around Copenhagen. These will include Olafur Eliasson exhibiting at the City Hall Square, Dan Perjovschi drawing on Sønder Boulevard and the artist group Parfyme developing an alternative harbour plan for Copenhagen Harbour.

In this way the exhibition venues constitute a physical axis from the area surrounding Copenhagen’s main shopping street, Strøget, over the City Hall Square, Halmtorvet and along Sønder Boulevard towards the Carlsberg Brewery precinct. The works in the urban space will be concentrated along this axis.

Several additional exhibits and performances will take place in Copenhagen during the exhibition period in collaboration with the other exhibition partners - the primary ones comprising Cinemateket, Camp X and Takkelloftet at The Royal Danish Theatre.

U-TURN present an exhibition programme with more than 65 artists which has been developed from four central curatorial foci. These four foci are: Cultural translation, The new Europe, The City in Transformation and Performativity (read more in the separate press release about the curatorial themes). Several of the artists’ moves and concepts work across these themes. In this way the respective exhibitions will mix the artists across thematics, medias and genres.

A selection of the participating artists has already been announced. From Denmark Olafur Eliasson, Ann Lislegaard, Jesper Just, Kirstine Roepstorff, Joakim Koester, Lilibeth Cuenca, Pia Rönicke and Henning Christiansen are participating among others.

From the foreign artists the following can be mentioned: Nevin Aladag (TR/DE), Dora Garcia (ES), Paulina Olowska (PL), Dan Perjovschi (RO), Walid Raad (LB), Pipilotti Rist (CH), Tomas Saraceno (AR/DE), Hito Steyerl (DE), Roi Vaara (FI) and What is to be done? (RU). Furthermore selected artists from the 20th century’s avant gardes will exhibit: : Hannah Höch (DE), Julius Koller (SK), Helio Oiticica (BR) og Mladen Stilinovic (HR). Along with Henning Christiansen these four foreign artists constitute the cornerstones of art history for U-TURN’s exhibition concept.

Furthermore, U-TURN is working in collaboration with the residency programmes S.A.I.R, Kbh A.I.R. and DIVA, which makes possible a number of artist residencies before and during the quadrennial. Selected artists will thereby get the possibility of producing and exhibiting completely new works in connection with U-TURN. The artists in residence are: Nevin Aladag (TR/DE), Köken Ergun (TR), Oliver og Tellervo Kalleinen (FI), Irina Korina (RU), Mads Lynnerup (US/DK), Jan Mancuska (CZ) Roi Vaara (FI) og What is to be done?(RU).

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