Visit Aarhus, Denmark: ARoS Art Museum

By Marina Aagaard, MFT
For health and wellness: Be touched. By art.
Health and well-being is enhanced by experiences, and actually ‘Culture on Prescription’ is now an accepted Nordic health promotion method.

Therefore, you may be able to upgrade your health through museum visits!
The other day I visited Aarhus Kunstmuseum ARoS.

While art moves your brain (thought), it is an added bonus if the body is being moved, too. You get to walk quite a few steps in the museum. And for a stair runner it is nice to see the suggestion above: Thank you for considering taking the stairs (save the elevator …).

Highlights from the permanent exhibitions and parts of the Cultural Capitol 2017 theme exhibition: The Garden: The Past.

   

A hideous, appalling work. A couple victim to all forms of violence and accidents. Repulsive … until you read the fine print (the tattoo on his arm):  True Love Forever. Love conquers everything. I have my doubts about the piece, but not the message: Love is all.

Any car lover must be horror struck. A Lamborghini, which museum visitors at the invitation of the artist Dolk were invited to deface ad libitum (until recently). Arrrghhhh.
Poor, poor car. A horrible sight. Even a tiny scratch would have been very bad!

The above were difficult shots: This Lambo was surrounded by visitors almost non-stop. A highly popular attraction (ARoS has also previously had fast (F1) cars on the program).

In the Garden exhibition: A headless female figure on a swing has lost her shoe, flew through the air. The moment is captured (shoe fixated with nearly invisible string).
Yinka Shonibare: The Swing (After Fragonard) (2001).

Michael Kvium, famous Danish artist, among other things known for grotesque paintings of people in skin and blood colors. Here a completely different genre: An elegant and brilliantly conceived figure: Think Bigger (2003). A very motivating suggestion.

A selfie in front of a large mirror surface. Many guests took photos (of themselves) here.

Fluorescent (paint) is popular. An installation about nature as “something we lost”:
Mark Dion: The Phantom Museum (Wonder Workshop)  (2015).

Part of the exhibition is not visual, but auditory. You step into a completely dark room, the first step into the Jacob Kirkegaard exhibition everything & nothing.

Kirkegaard is internationally recognized for fascinating footage of the world’s sounds. Using advanced equipment records he records sounds under water, resonance of abandoned spaces and tones within the ear. The exhibition includes five ‘catchy’ parts. 

Art does not need to shock every time. Art may also like to please the eyes: Pool.

Two large pieces:
Eroded Valley (2016), Damián Ortega. Brick. Not pretty, but very well conceived and thought-provoking. A Crossing Place (1983), Richard Long. Stone. ‘Sleek’ and symbolic.

An installation with sounds and images of empty spaces in Chernobyl. Saddening.

In the basement, The 9 Rooms, with various installations. Two I particularly liked:

A very large, life-like installation with turntables, neon lights and empty bottles. The work evokes memories of earlier times with lots of disco (Thursday, Friday, Saturday):  Too Late by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset: A nightclub morning after a festive evening.

A glass tank filled with water and a glass fiber head on which facial expressions are projected. What an idea. Slightly frightening, Unk  (2004) by Tony Oursler.

Olafur Eliasson, Icelandic super artist, is fortunately well represented at ARoS. The museum ‘roof installation’ My Rainbow Panorama (see below) is an architectural and artistic masterpiece and always worth a visit.

In The 9 Spaces Eliasson is represented by Environment (2007): a white room with mirrored floor ceiling and walls that multiplies guests and cameras, “an infinite space.”

     

In The Garden exhibition Eliasson is represented with a drizzle rain: The light playing in the water and you get placed himself at the right place, you can vaguely see a rainbow. Beautiful. The installation is called Beauty (1993), of course.

ARoS – 20,700 square meters distributed over 10 floors – is one of Northern Europe’s art museums. The museum was designed by the Aarhus-based architectural firm schmidt hammer lassen architects (1997).

The building is shaped as a cube with a ground plane of 52 x 52 meters and a height of 43 meters. A curved section through the cube serves as the museum street. In the middle of the building a spiral staircase, and elevators, leads up and down to and from the galleries.

But what is this? The museum’s usual light, airy interior, is occupied by a giant 50 meter long piece of art, Valkyrie Ran, the Portuguese Joana Vasconcelus. Colorful, fantasy-like and festive, absolutely; currentlyly part of a special exhibition with the artist.

But. Reportedly this work of art is to be included in the museum’s permanent collection? Hopefully not at the current location: The building’s elegant, minimalist architecture disappears behind plush and sequins!

At the top. Again. Aarhus City views in all colors of the rainbow. My Rainbow Panorama.

Downstairs again. A visual deception. This large, 3.15 m high knot seems massive and heavy, but a closer examination – a couple of beating knuckles – reveals a hollow sound and the figure is neither of steel or granite, but of fiberglass. Disappointing …

The sculpture “Granny’s knot,” “Granny Knot” , however, is far from light-weight: It weighs 200 kg and was made by Shinkichi Tajiri, a co-founder of the Cobra movement, in 1968. Regardless of material: A pleasing sight; it is timeless art.

Recommended.

*****

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