Copenhagen Contemporary wins Denmark's most prestigious art prize

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Copenhagen Contemporary wins Denmark's most prestigious art prize
Jannie Haagemann, Irene Campolmi & Marie Nipper, 2021. Photo: Jonas Fogh.

COPENHAGEN.- In just five years Copenhagen's youngest art institution, Copenhagen Contemporary has established itself as a leading cultural operator, showing large-scale installation art created by art-world superstars. Because of the Vision Award the art centre's ambitious exhibition concept Yet, it moves! will occupy not only CC's exhibition hall but central parts of Copenhagen, as well, with ground-breaking art experiences centred on the theme of movement. The visionary exhibition and research project, made in collaboration with external curator Irene Campolmi, brings together powerful actors from the worlds of art and science.

Yet, it moves! is a visionary research project and public art exhibition that investigates the interconnected movements across scales from the micro to the macro cosmos. The project will unfold through a series of decentralized art installations shown at different locations in Copenhagen from May to September 2023, creating opportunities for people to encounter contemporary art in new ways as the art will live in the city with the people on a daily base.

Yet, it moves! is conceptualized and curated by Irene Campolmi, curator and researcher, Marie Nipper, director of CC and Jannie Haagemann, head of exhibitions at CC.

The exhibition is realized in collaboration with the four scientific research partners DARK, the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen; Arts at CERN in Geneva; the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University, and the Program in Performance Studies, University of California, Davis, ModLab (Digital Humanities Laboratory).

The award is accompanied by a generous gift of DKK 5 million, and CC can now begin to work towards the creation of the exhibition format of the future, bringing into play disciplines from the worlds of art and science and unfolding in a direct dialogue with the citizens of Copenhagen, as they move about the city every day. At key locations in the city it will be possible to encounter spectacular contemporary art created by Ryoji Ikeda, Precious Okoyomon, Black Quantum Futurism, Jenna Sutela, Cecilia Bengolea, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Nora Turato, Helene Nymann and others to be announced. Through video, performance and art installations the exhibition explores movement as a ubiquitous phenomenon, making us aware of the many and complex patterns of movement that we are all part of.

Marie Nipper, director, CC states: 'We are immensely proud that an art institution as young as CC is awarded a major vision prize. As an institution we are constantly striving to look ahead, to expand our understanding of the role that art and the art institution can play in society and, together with the artists, explore new ways of creating, presenting and experiencing art. And this is precisely what Yet, it moves! is all about: creating the exhibitions of the future.'

The jury's citation

'Yet, it moves! is the winner of the 2021 Vision Exhibition Award. Anchored in a grand vision of letting artworks occupy seven key locations in Copenhagen's urban spaces, the theme of movement, a subject at once fundamental and hyper-topical and complex, will be presented to a wide audience.

One of the strengths of the exhibition concept is its potential to offer the city users an experience of the artworks by moving together with them, thereby providing new and powerful visual entry points for experiencing interrelations that are otherwise only discussed theoretically. Carefully selected locations in Copenhagen are being envisaged as sites for the building of platforms and as experiential spaces for the presentation of screen-based works, performances and other artistic manifestations that can offer the experience of movement in us, around us and above us', writes the jury in its citation choosing Copenhagen Contemporary as the winner.

The exhibition: Yet, it moves!

Movement - an aspect of life often taken for granted - is the means through which any life form in this universe can self-regenerate. Centuries ago, having been forced, before the Inquisition, to deny the heliocentric system and recant his theory of the Earth's rotation, Galileo Galilei courageously pleaded, in his own defense, that 'yet, it moves!'. His statement obviously referred to an essential truth that we have come to reflect upon during the pandemic: regardless of what human beings do, the universe moves around and above us, thus indirectly touching us within - whether we acknowledge it or not.

Life has kept moving, nature has kept evolving, days and nights have continued switching, planets continued spinning around their orbits, and stars continued burning in the universe, proving to everyone that even if human beings stop, the universe around them does not stand still: Yet, it moves!

The exhibition project is divided into three main areas of investigation, concerned with researching movement above us, within us, and around us. The groundbreaking vision of this project, its process, and artistic outcome will be to venture into the overlapping areas of interest between the artists and the scientific partners, stimulating new research by sharing different perspectives and exploring avenues that combine the various methodologies and viewpoints - and to make the fruits of those collaborative experiments accessible to a broad audience.

By engaging with the public spaces and their users, CC wants to make people aware of the micro- and macro-movements that drive life on Earth and in the universe. Being aware of the way movement manifests itself and how its directions, expressions, and forms shape the space around us, is a simple, yet crucial, step to acknowledge that people's movements can also change with the flow of events. For this reason, movement also addresses a potentially subversive energy that calls for action, counteraction, and change.

Irene Campolmi, co-curator of the project, adds: 'Art and science adopt different methods, but share the same goal of creating new perspectives on the world and exploring how people relate to it. This visionary project reimagines the principles of curatorial practice: rather than displaying something, it intends to create new conditions and a new method for scientific and artistic research. Movement is essential for life to keep regenerating - forever and ever!'


Ryoji Ikeda, Precious Okoyomon, Black Quantum Futurism, Jenna Sutela, Cecilia Bengolea, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Nora Turato, Helene Nymann, and others to be announced.

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