A Metropolis that Fritz Lang would have been proud of (sorry Superman)

KIT’s Metropolis Bieniele festival is everywhere. Pushing artistic agendas across the whole of Copenhagen, this 18-day festival (August 12-31) integrates art and the urban and city landscape, encouraging debate and allowing us to experience the city anew.

Much lip-service is paid at many festivals to ‘process’ and ‘research’, but with the Metropolis Festival and laboratory, the money is clearly where the mouth is.

The festival alternates yearly with a laboratory and research process that fuels the festival for the following year. In this way Metropolis breaks the established notions of the art and asks: What is the identity of a city? What is its ebb, what is its flow? How might the city’s artistic ‘geist’ differ from other years?

These questions and many more make Metropolis one of the most progressive events on the cultural calendar of Denmark, Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Always daring and out-of-the-box, the festival is a great testament to one of Denmark’s most influential cultural institutions, Copenhagen International Theatre (KIT).

As it did in the early Fools Festivals in the 1980s, and the brilliant ‘Dancin’ City’ festivals in the ’90s, KIT continues to brilliantly challenge our notion of art and culture.

For the top tips below (see kit.dk for more details), I have chosen three Danish and three international works, but in truth, all the works this year are excellent and worth a visit or day out with the family.

The home grown trio:

Wunderlunds, ‘Phoenix – Copenhagen Edition
An interactive performance created to explore the senses of the audience in a journey through the forgotten buildings and unique beauty of Refshaleøen.

open Aug 16-30, 14:30-16:30 & 18:30-21:00; Teaterøens Café, William Wains Gade 11, Refshaleøen, Cph K

Karoline H Larsen presents ‘Snorejunglen’
Larsen abolishes the distinction between art and play as she turns an urban space into an myriad of colour with 300 kilometres of string. The installation shifts and changes according to audience interaction.

open Aug 14-30, weekdays: 13:00-18:00, weekends 10:00-18:00; Skt. Thomas Plads, Frederiksberg

Steen & Hejlesen and Den Sorte Skole present ‘I Demokratiets Navn’
In an event to mark the Danish Constitution’s 100th birthday, Ninna Steen and Thomas Hejlesen choreograph the architecture of the ‘Domshusets’ architecture with projections exploring Danish democracy’s cultural and socio-political. Underpinned with a soundscape from the excellent music duo ‘Den Sorte Skole’, it is an-end-of-August event not to be missed.

Aug 28, 22:00; Foran Domhuset, Nytorv 25, Cph K

The international three:

Dries Verhoeven presents ‘In Ceci n’est pas…’

Ten people will spend more than ten days in a see-through showcase on Gammel Kongensvej. The work challenges the norm where they themselves are presented as works-of-art of relics from the past. The work investigates taboos whereby the public space becomes a place for exchange and debate.

Aug 12-21, open weekdays 14:00-19:00, weekends 12:00-17:00; Gammeltorv, Cph K

Emke Idema’s award-winning show ‘Rule™’,

This show, which has been a hit at international festivals in Europe, explores power and the nature of democracy. The work questions moral, legal and ethical issues around immigration and uses a gaming format to allow the audience an active political role that can influence the show’s outcome.

Aug 24, 25 & 26, 20:00; Kulturstyrelsens Foyer, HC Andersens Boul 2, Cph V

Tape Copenhagen by ‘Numen/For Use’

This exhibition occupies Nikolaj Kunsthal with 40 kilometres of adhevise tape in cocoon that floats cobweb-like between the building’s pillars. Numen/For Use is a collective of designers and set designers who wish to challenge architectural forms that physically helps us feel the material.

Aug 15-23, 10:00-22:00; Nikolaj Kunsthal, Nikolaj Plads 10, Cph K

…and a special call-out to …

Kitt Johnson’s ‘12’
A collaboration with 12 performers, artist Annette Skov and musician Sture Ericson. Johnson is always worth the watch – so just go.

Aug 17-23, 19:00; Refshalevej 151, Refshaleøen







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