Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands @ Nikolaj Kunsthal

Conversations, Copenhagen Art Festival, Kunsthallen Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center

August 24-October 21, 2012

Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, is located in the former Nikolaj Church at Nikolaj Plads in the centre of Copenhagen and functions as the city’s exhibition space for contemporary art.

Nikolaj

Visualization of “AR Orator no5,” by John Craig Freeman at Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, 2012.

The Copenhagen Art Festival will open 24. August 2012 with an event-packed programme until 2. September. Hereafter the newly opened exhibitions will continue throughout the autumn. The festival is one of the major presentations of international contemporary art in the region.

The Copenhagen Art Festival presents a multifaceted exhibition programme with art works by Danish and international artists. The festival will take place in the streets and squares of the inner city of Copenhagen and at the major contemporary art centres: Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art and Kunstforeningen GL STRAND.

Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands, by John Craig Freeman is based of the work of Gustav Gustavovich Klucis, including his designs for Screen-radio Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands from 1922.

Klucis was a pioneering member of the Russian Constructivist avant-garde in the early 20th century. As Russian politics degenerated under the Stalin dictatorship in the 1920s and 30s, Klucis came under increasing pressure to devote his artwork to state propaganda. Despite his loyal service to the Communist Party, Klutsis was arrested in Moscow on January 17, 1938. His whereabouts remained a mystery until 1989, when it was discovered that he had been executed by Stalin just after his arrest.

Instructions:

  • To view the work on location at Nikolaj Kunsthal, using any late model iPad, iPhone or Android, download the free Layar Augmented Reality Browser (http://layar.com) and scan this code

Orators_Rostrums-Propaganda_Stands_QR_Layar_Intent

Each of the virtual Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands display a black and white animation from a contemporary mass uprising; Tank Man near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989; the assassination of Neda Agha-Soltan, who was gunned down in the streets of Tehran during the 2009 Iranian election protests; scenes from Tahrir Square in Cairo during the 2011 Arab Spring; the Danish uprising on the 8th of May 1993; and the 2011 Occupy Wall Street uprising. Each of these images are juxtaposed, in montage, with frames from the Odessa Steps scene of Sergei Eisenstein‘s historic Battleship Potemkin film.

Orator no7 with sequence from the Danish uprising, which took place on the 8th of May 1993. Screenshot by the artists, 2012.

When touched, the virtual objects play sound from the uprising. The stands call up both the resurgence and nostalgia of current worldwide political idealism as they re-imagine the museum plaza in the function of the public square.

Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands, was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has been exhibited at Kunsthallen Nikolaj in Copenhagen, Triennale di Milano in Milan, Window Zoos & Views, DAW 2013 in Singapore, exURBAN SCREENS in Melbourne, and for SIGGRAPH ASIA 2013 in Hong Kong.

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