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Alice Folker Gallery fosters ‘Kinship’ between designers, architects, and curators
Exhibition view of the exhibition 'Kinship' at Alice Folker Gallery in Copenhagen
Image: Courtesy of Anne Dorthe Vester

Alice Folker Gallery fosters ‘Kinship’ between designers, architects, and curators

Part of the 10th edition of 3daysofdesign, the design exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark, includes a compelling showcase of Danish furniture made using terrazzo and wood. 

by Almas Sadique
Published on : Jun 09, 2023

Every year in June, the city of Copenhagen—mused for its ebullient land dotted with colourful and decorated buildings from the 17th and 18th century—opens up further in celebration of all things design, with 3daysofdesign. Over the course of three consecutive days, designers and design enthusiasts come together to present their experiments and become part of dialogues on art, design, and all things creative. Initially heralded as a Danish design festival, the event, now in its 10th edition, enjoys international repute. The 2023 iteration of 3daysofdesign, from June 7-9, 2023, platforms 290 exhibitors presenting artistic and pragmatic experiments in furniture design, lighting design, and accessory design, conceived with innovative materials and techniques. Spread across the Danish capital, the festival blooms within curated showrooms, shops, workshops, streets and backyards. The ongoing iteration of the design event is deemed as the largest one since its inception in 2013. “The programme will not only expose visitors to exceptional design but also, to the city's diverse design character—there is a different atmosphere to be found at each district,” reads an excerpt from the 3daysofdesign’s website, drawing focus to the 13 districts the festival is sectioned into.

3daysofdesign 2023 marks both, the showcase of various temporary expositions and events, as well as the inclusion of various exhibitions taking place in the city. One of these is Kinship, on view at the Alice Folker Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark from June 2 - July 29, 2023. The exposition—created in collaboration with Max Kejser Mortensen from Byggeselskabet C. F. Hansen—at the contemporary art gallery was designed for the current edition of 3daysdesign, and is a visual display of the dialogue between artist and designer Birgitte Due Madsen, architect Anne Dorthe Vester, and writer and curator Henriette Noermark Andersen.

While Madsen focuses on the materiality and aesthetics of her projects that allow them time to evolve and develop from their abstract forms into cohesive designs, Vester’s practice in architecture and design remains experimental and exploratory, rooted in the Danish design tradition. Vester, too, spends time on the study of materials, their processing, and their respective potential. Andersen on the other hand, is a writer and curator who has worked and exhibited both in Denmark and internationally. Her curatorial practice lies at the junction of contemporary art, design, and crafts, with a dialogue-based focus that clearly defines the relationship between the artist and curator.

“The design exhibition aesthetically, visually, and transparently highlights the often overlooked, invisible collaborations that all designers, architects, and curators partake in, and which raises the level of individual and serial works alike. It challenges the importance of collaborations and craftsmanship, interdisciplinary processes, and communication,” an excerpt from the exhibition text states. On display are existing works by Madsen, namely her 'Lucid Chair,' 'Neon Cast,' and 'Breton Cubes,' alongside Vester's 'Kilen' and 'Vitrine'.

On the other hand, new works on display at the exhibition include a collection of handmade furniture consisting of terrazzo bases—built using crushed surplus glass, recycled tiles and crushed concrete—and seats made using lightweight slat structures in Douglas fir from Dinesen. This is the result of the three collaborators coming together in equal capacity, to create a cohesive design installation. This merging of two distinct materials, namely terrazzo and wood, further draws focus to the collaboration that led to this exhibition, and the potential that pondering on partnered projects presents.“The collective outcome is a series of joint works signed by all three, with a clear kinship to the two designers’ oeuvre,” the gallery explains.

Enunciating the theme that guides Kinship, the press release shared by the gallery explains, “Danish visual artist Sonja Ferlov Mancoba made use of the South African term ubuntu, which means ‘I am because we are,’ and signed several of her works EWS, the initials of her husband Ernest Mancoba, her son Wonga, and herself. In Kinship, presence, dedication, and inclusion become as essential as the final object, very much in line with 3daysofdesign's theme this year, ‘Where would we be without you?’ paying homage to the hidden aspects of the design world that make it all possible.”

'Kinship’ is on view from June 2 - July 29, 2023, at the Alice Folker Gallery, Esplanaden 14, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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