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.

*****

Balancing for fitness and fun: Balance exercises for home and travel

By Marina Aagaard, MFT. Photo: Henrik Elstrup. Location: Aros. My Rainbow Panorama
Better balance in everyday life and sport? Do balance training anytime, anywhere. Indoors and outdoors. At every possibility e.g. when waiting for a train or a plane: It is ‘free’ training for the brain and muscles, strength, stability and mobility. 

Here I am balancing at Aros Museum, Aarhus, a popular city to visit says Lonely Planet.

Benefits

Many muscles a.o. stabilizing muscles of the legs and core.

Starting position

  • Stand firmly on stand leg foot.
  • Straight back, upright position, straight leg with relaxed knee.
  • Neck in neutral position. Gaze at a fixed point.
  • The free leg is in a specific position depending on the variation (see below).
  • The arms in a specific position depending on variation and preference (see below).

Performance

  • Stand on one leg.
  • Keep your arms on your chest (for a one-leg balance test) or sides (for a stork-balance test) or overhead (typical for the yoga tree exercise).
    Other arm positions are also possible and recommended as variations.
  • Keep the free leg bent. Often you support the free leg foot at opposite knee – e.g. for a balance test).
    Knee is in front, to the side of or behind the body.
    Or hold the free leg straight and lifted (for athletes) to the front, the side or the back.
  • Keep the balance from a few seconds up to 2 minutes. Then increase difficulty.
  • Eyes open. Or close one eye at a time. Or close both eyes.

Single-leg balance

On one foot firmly on the floor. Free foot by stand leg knee. Arms crossed at the chest.

Stork Balance

On the ball of the foot, heel lifted well above the floor. Free foot by stand leg knee. Hands at the sides.

Yoga Tree

On one foot firmly on the floor. Free legs rotated outward with the foot placed high on inner thigh (adductors). Hands – palms together – over head.

Flamingo

On one foot firmly on the floor. Free leg is bent 90 degrees, the thigh is next to or behind stand leg. Arm position is optional.

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T-balance (sagittal scale)

On one foot firmly on the floor. Body forward in a horizontal position. Free leg and torso aligned. Arms back or out. Can also be done with body turned sideways, frontal position (frontal scale).

Training Volume

You can do bodyweight balances every day if you desire.

Enjoy your workout.


Balance test for health (stroke risk)

 

Outdoor Training by Graffiti: Port of Aarhus Walk

By Marina Aagaard, MFT

Outdoor training is always interesting. It provides a chance of sight-seeing.
No matter if you are at home or abroad, there is always something to see.
If you take a closer look.

I am a BIG fan of ports (and the sea), graffiti (not ugly tagging) and exercise.
This day it is a nice 3-in-1 surprise (but no no, no choko Kinder eggs before Easter) as the graffiti was unexpected, but very, very cool. Respect, Grisk, Peter Birk.

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Around the corner, in the outskirts of the Port of Aarhus, earlier (during winter):

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As I said: I don’t like tagging, especially not, when it is defacing beautiful buildings.
This, however, is street art, I believe, and in an otherwise bleak, remote place:
“A piece of heaven fell from the sky. Luckily the sparrows put it back before anyone noticed”.

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Gloomy looking, but good (interesting views).

Top-10 Reasons to Visit Aarhus: Second Best in Europe

By Marina Aagaard, MFE. Photo: Henrik Elstrup

Aarhus, second city of Denmark, and also a so-called second city sight-wise; when everybody has seen Copenhagen, where to next? And now second on the Lonely Planet Best in Europe list, too. That’s okay.

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The town where I was born and raised, Aarhus, on the peninsula Jutland in Denmark, was recently named among the best places in Europe by Lonely Planet travel guide.
In second place, just before Venice, the most beautiful city, can you believe it?

Lonely Planet: Best in Europe 2016

  1. Peloponnes, Greece
  2. Aarhus, Denmark
  3. Venice, Italy
  4. Dordogne, France
  5. Lviv, Ukraine
  6. Warwickshire, Enland
  7. Extremadura, Spain
  8. Tenerife east coast, Canary Islands
  9. Texel, Holland
  10. Northern Dalmatia, Croatia

Visit Aarhus, it is worth a visit, for an extended weekend trip, or even a week, which would give you time to visit one of the Danish National Parks in Jutland: Vadehavet, Thy or Nationalpark Mols Bjerge, the latter close by (my new neighborhood as it is).

If you decide to stay in the city you can spend a day in and around Aros, the main art museum of Aarhus, which had an amazing roof top added later (60 mio. DKK, 10,7 mio. USD): Your rainbow panorama by Danish-Icelandic Olafur Eliasson (top photo).

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Aarhus is a fairly small city – 264,716 inhabitants in the inner urban area and 330,639, municipal population (2016) – has been named ‘City of the Smile’ and ‘World’s Smallest Big City’, especially the latter being reasonable descriptive: Aarhus offer smaller scale sight-seeing opportunities and facilities similar to those of bigger cities.
There is a concert hall, Musikhuset, for opera and classical music, and there is a small, cozy theatre (plays in Danish, though) as well as exciting modern dance scenes.

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Aarhus has a festival week, Festugen, first week of September every year. There is an abundance of music, dance and plays in many genres. A lot of the events are free. There are also many beer stalls and tents, some with live music, during festival time making the event and city a bit loud and messy in some places. (photo: Sculpture by the Sea 2015).

The city has affordable – not supercheap nor overly expensive – offers for shoppers from visiting cruise ships and elsewhere. Exclusive top brands like Prada, Gucci and Hermes may not have shops in Aarhus, but you can get Danish design fashion, jewellery and art.

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Top-10 Reasons to Visit Aarhus

  • Worldclass architecture, old and new, some street art
  • Great museums: Aros, MOMU (photo), Den Gamle By (open air museum) a.o.
  • Michelin food, quite a few star restaurants (see list below)
  • Nice quarters, e.g. Latin Quarter with designer fashion and organic food
  • Port, akward infrastructure, but nice anyway and with two little marinas
  • Great music and dance, not only local stars; also international guests
  • Pedestrian streets with coffee shops, bars and small restaurants
  • Shopping, Danish design fashion, furniture, art
  • Fairly friendly people; Danes may look ‘busy’, but do ask, give us a poke
  • Great surroundings, bay area, forrest and fields

Come and see us : – )

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Top-10 Aarhus Restaurants

Restaurant Frederikshoej
Michelin starred restaurant Restaurant Frederikshoej is in the top-league of Danish gastronomy, thanks in no small measure to the prize-winning celebrity chef Wassim Hallal. Restaurant Frederikshøj became a star in Guide Michelin Nordic Cities 2015 and again in Michelin Nordic Guide 2016.

Restaurant SUBSTANS
Michelin starred restaurant 2016. Restaurant SUBSTANS had a star in Guide Michelin Nordic Cities 2015 and again in Michelin Nordic Guide 2016

Restaurant Gastromé
Michelin starred restaurant In Restaurant Gastromé you can experience gourmet country-inspired cuisine at Michelin-standard. Once again the restaurant recived a star in Michelin Nordic Guide 2016. The two chefs’ philosophy translate into their wine, food and quality.

Guide Michelin Bib Gourmand. Guide Michelin also awards the Michelin Bib Gourmand, and two restaurants in Aarhus have received this award which is designated to restaurants which serve exceptionally good food at moderate prices.

Restaurant Pondus
Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurant Pondus was awarded a Bib Gourmand in Guide Michelin Nordic Cities 2016, given for high quality food at affordable prices. At restaurant Pondus the focus is on modern and simple Danish cuisine combined with ecology and Danish commodities. With a feeling of french bistro.

Restaurant Haervaerk
Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurant Hærværk was awarded a Bib Gourmand in Guide Michelin Nordic Cities 2016, given for high quality food at affordable prices.
The commodities dictate the menu. Unpredictability, free hands and solid craft is what characterize this restaurant.

Ratings in Guide Michelin. In addition to Michelin stars and Bib Gourmand awards, several restaurants in Aarhus are rated in Guide Michelin Nordic Cities 2015, which only recommends the very best of restaurants in Scandinavia.

Nordisk Spisehus
Delicious Scandinavian cuisine and wonderful wines at the critically acclaimed Nordisk Spisehus eating place – in the heart of Aarhus. A true Scandinavian gastronomic experience at its very best, when its team of top chefs, including members of the National Culinary Team of Denmark, compose luxurious Scandinavian menus which are always prepared from fresh seasonal produce.

Kähler Spisesalon
Prizewinning open sandwiches in a unique setting At Kähler Spisesalon you will immediately sense the passion and love for Kähler’s world-famous ceramics. The unique ceramic design of Kähler converges elegantly with the classic and modern Danish dishes on the menu.

Ferdinand
Hotel & Restaurant Ferdinand is placed on Åboulevarden in the centre of the city. Ferdinand was named the best Danish brasserie of 2009 by Den Danske Spiseguide (The Danish Restaurant Guide). Gourmet dinners, high quality combined with simplicity and elegance. Includes dishes in all price classes. In addition you can also choose from a large assortment of wines.

Castenskiold
Enjoy an exclusive dinner at Castenskiold – Food & Nightclub. Their main concept is the new initiative which should invite everyone to culinary curiosity. They have made more room at the tables so the shared food experience gets elevated without having soaring prices.

Froeken Koch
Classic cuisine with care & consideration Overlooking the Marina in Aarhus and in a simple black and white setting that is warmly illuminated by copper lamps, you will find “Frøken Koch”. A popular restaurant by the local Koch Brothers’ where they serve classic Danish cuisine. They will serve you a full plate of simple, honest and no-frills food that is expertly prepared and served with the unique care and consideration that is characteristic to the Koch Brothers and their varied restaurants.

There are actually many more restaurants with very nice food, indian, persian, vietnamese, japanese, thai, greek and more, as well as these:

Restaurant ET
French restaurant in Aarhus, mentioned in the 2015 Michelin Guide.

Restaurant MASH
American steak restaurant in Aarhus, reviewed in the Michelin Nordic Guide 2016

Brasserie Belli
French restaurant in Aarhus. Reviewed in Michelin Nordic Guide 2016.

Møf
Danish restaurant in Aarhus, mentioned in the 2016 Michelin Guide.

F-Høj Deli
Café and deli in Aarhus, mentioned in the 2016 Michelin Guide.

And a personal favourite for a wonderful Sunday Brunch with a lovely view:

Varna
Goumet restaurant just outside the city centre. Run by master chef Palle Enevoldsen (earlier together with Michelin chef Wassim Hallal). Very nice restaurant by the bay.

Bon Appetit!

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Time Out Aarhus: World’s Largest Ship Visit

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Some would say sad, some would say super: Taking a day trip just to go to ones own hometown to see a ship.

Maybe it is the way it has to be, when you live by/in the second-largest city of one of the smaller countries of the world; Aarhus (population ~320,000), Denmark.
You have to make every little (odd) thing into an event or destination.
Fitness-wise it is a smart move, though, to move about at every chance!

Yesterday, the world’s biggest container ship, Maersk McKinney Moller, 400 metres long, 55,000 tonnes and a cost of 185 mio. USD, visited the port of Aarhus for the first time.

All day there were a ‘beach bar’ (event restaurant), boat tours around the massive ship and container displays at the city centre next to the port.

2013 Mærsk Containere

A ‘dusky’ yesteryear-smartphone photo of the theatre and cathedral square ‘contained’.

In the evening hundreds (thousands?) of people gathered all over the port and surrounding areas to watch the giant sail on … with drinks, snacks, ice creams and cameras at hand. This is how we party, have a good Time Out in Aarhus (read; events and sights are everywhere)!

2013 Mærsk McKinney Møller sejler ud 26 08 2013

Exit: A ship sailing out. Enter: Dreams of travelling to far corners of the world.

Are we, inhabitants of the tiny country of Denmark, home of Moeller-Maersk the World’s Largest Container Ship Company, just in desperate need of sights to see?
Or do you also enjoy watching/going to/being at ports, ships and the sea?

maersk-mckinney-ship-aug-2013MV Maersk McKinney Moller (International Business Times, August 16)

A trip to the Port of Aarhus: Tall Ships Races 2013

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

A trip to The Tall Ships Races 2013 in my hometown Aarhus, July 4-7th.
Aarhus, second-largest city of Denmark, has a strong maritime heritage and a very busy port (position 56° 10′ N – 10° 13′ E).
As the principal port of Denmark Aarhus has hosted many sail sport events and is a Tall Ships Races host city since 2007; an immensely popular and free event with huge numbers of visitors of all ages enjoying food, drinks, music and sailing on the ships.

Tall ships races small and tall sailing ships

From 30 to 300 footers. From old-school to new-school.
And art at sea: International maritime signal flags.

If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of ports, the beauty of sailing ships, the power and ever-changing scenery of the sea and like to watch the habitats and skills of sailors, then you should go see a harbour near you – and watch tall ships if possible …

Tall ship from Sweden in Port of Aarhus

Götheborg of Sweden. Crew is dressed up in original clothes of ships era.
And cannons were fired several times. A multi-sensory event!

What a wonderful (long) weekend in Aarhus. People came from near and far to watch the spectacular event: 104 beautiful sailing ships with around 4000 crew members from different 30 countries. Canal boats cruised continuously with wide-eyed and open-mouthed spectators.

You do not have to be a sailing nerd to find, that this is a fantastic experience.

Sailing ships leaving port of Aarhus

Russian, German, and Danish sailing ship are setting sails and leaving port …
together with another 101 ships. The live version was awesome.

Tall ship from Mexico in Port of Aarhus

Watch masts closely! Crew at Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, put on a superb show; climbing speedily in syncronicity and posing elegantly ‘all over’ the masts leaving port.

Port of Aarhus Tall Ships Races 2013

The Tall Races since 1956 (from Torbay, England, to Lisboa, Portugal).
At first every other year, then every year with different host cities.
In 2013: Aarhus, Danmark, July 4-7th, Helsinki, Soumi-Finland, July 17-20th , Riga, Latvia, July 25-28th and Szczecin, Poland, August 3-6th.

Just goes to show: You do not have to travel around the globe to experience amazing things. Sometimes the World comes to your place …
What is happening in your neighbourhood?

A Mindbody Day Trip: Sculpture by the Sea

By Marina Aagaard, MFT

A phenomena started on Bondi coastal walk, Sydney, and an annual event on Cottesloe beach in Perth, Australia, now for the third time an immensely popular june event in Aarhus, second city of Denmark, a population of 307.117, and named European Capital of Culture for 2017: Sculpture by the Sea; it’s mindbody-blowing.

sea wire

Permanent sunrise. Small detail. Alejandro Propato, Argentina.
Steel tubes, nylon wire. 600 x 4500 x 1500 cm.

Luckily for me Aarhus is my birthplace and close to my present home, so today I take a 28 km trip to town to take a 7 km (4,4 mile) walk at the beach for fitness and watch some art for wellness. The exhibition, over 60 sculptures, by the sea, in the sea and in the wood next to the sea, is free. However, I would recommend (always) buying the cataloque in order not to miss some hidden gems or the meaning of it all … 

sculpture by the sea evidence

Sculpture by the Sea - evidence the trail continues II

Evidence the trail continues. Plastic lids and cable ties.
100 x 200 x 4800 cm. Artist: Kerrie Argent.

At a distance it looks like a bed of flowers. Up close it is a comment to the environmental challenges. Statement: “People are like slugs, you can see where they have been by the trail they leave behind”! Enter: A ‘snail trail’ made by 88.000 plastic bottle lids bound together by cable ties. A brilliant reminder.

Sculpture by the sea Aarhus Snake

sea mobile

Snake. Carbon fibre, precision bearing, lead, steel. 910 x 12,7 x 127 cm. Artist: Phil Price.

A mesmerizing beautiful kinetic work moved by every little puff of wind. Artist statement: “In the story of the fall of man, a snake is tempting Eve to eat an apple from the forbidden tree to gain knowledge of good and evil”. …

There is more to art than meets the eye, I dare say.
And combo, nature, culture, fitness, made my day!