Friday, July 20, 2012

Farewell to Denmark

We are on our last few days the Denmark portion of our trip. It's been wonderful to explore the city on our second hand bicycles. We have been able to travel to all of Copenhagen's nooks and crannies. We pedal to our favorite bakery, lunch spot, grocery store, to take in a movie, watch the river go by, and just glide through the picturesque streets. I feel a sense of childhood freedom riding a bicycle.

We also ventured out to Malmo, Sweden by train. Traveling by train and metro has been so convenient and enjoyable in Europe. We spent the day wandering the streets, having lunch at a Chinese vegan buffet at Vegegarden, and checking out the Malmo Moderna Museum and a Swedish design centre.

We took the train out to Louisiana, Denmark to see the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Once we arrived it was supposed to be a short walk to the museum. After walking for a rather long time we concluded we must have missed the museum. I moaned about the lack of signage and declared I would be making a complaint if we ever located the museum. We had no choice but to retrace our steps to see where we went wrong. After backtracking for 20 minutes or so there was the museum turn off, plainly marked with a large sign. How did we miss it? Well I was so busy, transfixed by the slugs and snails on the sidewalk that we walked right by the entrance. Ah well the extra 45 minute walk was good for us.

Once we finally made it, the building and exhibits were worth it. Unfortunately there were no vegan options in the cafe for lunch, but I came prepared with purse snacks. We ate our snacks outside, and admired the Alexander Calder sculpture and mobile, against the backdrop of the sea. The grounds of the museum are lush and are as much of a display area as the interior. The building has lots of bends and corners, with windows framing beautifully the natural and manmade.

The exhibits were an eclectic mix including Nordic design, local and international pieces, multimedia, and more traditional mediums. It was very interesting to see the architectural models of houses and buildings. I adore the simple, natural lines of Danish design. I was also blown away by the urban planning video exhibit, shown in a circular room, in which you stand in the centre. The set up made you feel like you were in the spaces being described. It so clearly and profoundly explained ideal urban design and why it is so important. It emphasized things like spaces that encourage spontaneous lingering, foster a feeling of an urban living room. Spaces with lots of detail, small signs, appropriately sized public areas, provoking all the senses, where the indoor comes out, people centric not car centric. The video exhbit was by Gehl Architects and you can see excepts here: I look forward to reading the Jan Gehl book, Life Between Buildings.

The museum took me on a journey through beauty, hope, and brutality. One 3D installation, Five Car Stud, was extremely disturbing. "It represents a group of white men castrating a black man as his white girlfriend watches. The figures are life-size mannequins wearing masks, illuminated by the headlights of four cars and a pickup truck." In the exhibit you walk through the dimly lit diorama, in the midst of the horrific torture. I left with tears streaming down my face and a heavy heart. I wonder how we can be so cruel. If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Theresa

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1 comment:

sabrina said...

what is the name of your favorite bakery?