The art of sharing

From August 21 to 30, Cph Art Week will bring together the city's modern and contemporary artists to investigate what it means to share space

It often seems like artists inhabit a parallel world, with their own language and culture. Their work isn’t always beautiful or easy to understand, so we can be forgiven for wondering what it is all about.

Cph Art Week helps us get a little closer. Over ten days at the end of August, the festival assembles and showcases the city’s art scene.

The festival is spread over more than 60 art museums, project spaces and galleries and features 38 guided tours, debates, conferences, performances and artist talks as well as 58 exhibitions.

This year’s theme is ‘Shared Space’, and will explore our relationship to sharing and communicating ideas both inside and outside the art world. Modern society is characterised by our ability and desire to share, but what impact does it have on our lives and larger society? This question will be answered through meetings between the public, art professionals, and artists, which will hopefully encourage greater reflection on how art contributes to society.

“We want to draw attention to what happens when art is exchanged and produced across different spaces. Art is for everyone and constitute a space which we share, affect and negotiate –  this year’s festival will emphasise what it means to share one’s space as an artist, institution, audience and society,” says Jan Falk Borup, director of art news website, which launched the festival three years ago.

The festival is more than a passive presentation of what modern and contemporary art Copenhagen has to offer. Alongside the exhibitions, there will be salon conversations, guided tours, artist talks and parties. All will help you get beneath the surface.

Now in its third year, Borup says the festival was launched to provide an insight into the emerging talents, artistic trends, and issues of the moment. The festival accommodates both mainstream and narrow artistic activities and making art accessible to a broad audience in an interesting way. Along the way, Copenhagen’s reputation as a metropolis for high-quality contemporary art is cemented.

“We want to make the city buzz with activities in the name of art and take everyone – connoisseurs and curious minds alike – on an exploration through the art world of Copenhagen,” says Borup.


p37 SMK Fridays. Photo SMK, The National Gallery of Denmark

SMK Fridays: Art + Talks + Summer + Street Food + Harbour + Bar
Friday, August 21, 16:00 – 22:00
The Royal Cast Collection, Vestindisk Pakhus, Toldbodgade 40, 1253 Copenhagen K

CPH Art Week kicks off with a special summer edition of SMK Fridays, though instead of its regular setting at the National Gallery of Denmark, the harbour and thousand of plaster casts at The Royal Cast Collection creates the backdrop. The evening will include performances, site-specific works of art made to take place on water, and artist talks with a number of painters, experts and students from The Royal Academy.

p37 wireless copy

Wireless Footnotes From Another World of Art – Guided ride
Sunday, August 23, 15:00 – 17:00
Meet at Statens Værksteder for Kunst, Strandgade 27, 1401 Copenhagen. Ends at Format Art Space, Nansensgade 35, 1366 Copenhagen K

Join artist Kristoffer Ørum for a bike ride and discover brand new digital art works created specifically for Cph Art Week. Wireless Footnotes From Another World of Art is the third instalment of Kristoffer Ørum’s digital art project Captive Portal, which uses six open wifi networks to invisibly distribute digital works of art in the public sphere. Six visual artists (including Matthew-tobin Nye, above) and authors were invited to create work for Ørum’s project.During the guided tour he will share his thoughts about the significance of their placement, and how they relate to the festival’s theme ‘shared space’. Remember to bring a bicycle.

p37 NLH Space, 2013

Studio Day bike ride
Thursday, August 27, 11:00 – 22:00
Meet at Astrid Noacks Atelier, Rådmandsgade 34, 2200 Copenhagen N
See the entire programme at

Another bike ride: visit some of the most interesting non-profit and artist-driven exhibition spaces in Copenhagen. Experience everything from performances and art experiments to curator reflections, talks, and book launches. The day starts with a philosophical brunch and a performance at Astrid Noacks Atelier before making stops at GREEN IS GOLD, SixtyEight, TYS, and NHL Space. The day ends with the mini-symposium “What’s the Alternative?” at Officin in collaboration with New Shelter Plan and Ok Corral. The ride is free and you can join at any time.


By Peter Stanners

Co-founder and Editor-in-chief. Occasional photographer.

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