In Bushwick, Danish artists open up their studios to the public

DenmarkInNY headed out to Brooklyn to meet the Danish artists at the annual ISCP Spring Open Studios

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For emerging contemporary artists, Bushwick is the new frontier. The Brooklyn neighbourhood has become an artist hangout, but rarely do you get to peek into 38 different artist studios all in the same building. New Yorkers get that chance every year when the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) hosts the Spring Open Studios at 1040 Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn.

DenmarkInNY went to the opening reception on Friday to have a chat with the Danish artists who are currently in New York on a residency sponsored by the Danish Arts Foundation and supported, in part, by the Consulate General of Denmark in New York.

On the second floor in the three-story former factory, we came across the studio of Christian Falsnaes. Not only was he letting the public experience his work — he gave visitors the chance to become part of the work themselves.

Can you tell me about yourself and your work?

My name is Christian Falsnaes. I’m a Danish artist based in Berlin. I’ve been at ISCP since January and I work with collective processes. I often construct situations in which the visitor of the exhibition becomes an integrated part of the art that I exhibit. For the open studio I show a collage work in process that I’ve been working on since I arrived, and I will try to make the visitors who come to the open studio be part of constructing this collage.

What does it mean for you to be working here in New York?

New York provides me with a different perspective of myself and my work, and it gives me a possibility to be embedded in a different context and see different exhibitions and meet different people. So it’s basically a way for me to be able to develop my practice.

Further down the hall we were lured into a dark room. Honey Biba Beckerlee’s studio was turned pitch black for her Entangled Realities installation. A thread of the artists’ own hair was spanned out in front of a laser pointer placed in the center of the room, creating a thin green reflection on the wall.

Can you tell me about yourself and your work?

My name is Honey Beckerlee. I’m a visual artist. I work mainly in installation, using new media and light. I’m here in New York on the ISCP residency for three months. I work research-based with a fascination in quantum mechanics and animism. Most of my installations are about reality and about how we perceive reality through images and imagery.

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New York can be ‘really productive and great for networking,’ says artist Honey Biba Beckerlee.

What does it mean for you to be working here in New York?

I think New York is a working city. So if you find the opportunity to go here in relation to your work, it can be really productive and great for networking.

While exploring the studios of the resident artists from different 22 countries, we also met Norwegian artist Damir Avdagic, who studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen between 2008 and 2014. His installation presented at the open studios focused on the Yugoslav Wars, which he and his family fled in 1993.

Can you tell me about yourself and your work?

My name is Damir Avdagic. I started my residency at ISCP in September and I will be here until the end of August. My work is a hybrid between performance, video and text. It deals with issues of historical memory and identity. The historical background of my work is the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, which concerns my own family history, in the sense that I was born there and fled the war with my family to Norway.

What does it mean for you to be working here in New York?

Being part of the residency is a good way to expand my network. I’ve been very lucky to meet a lot of curators and art critics. The work gets seen by a lot of people and more people know about my work now. So there are new possibilities and future professional relationships.

Learn more about the residencies offered by the Danish Arts Foundation here.

Andreas Jakobsen is the Public Diplomacy, Press & Culture intern at the Danish Consulate in New York.

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The Official Medium Blog for the Consulate General of Denmark in New York. For all things Danish, #DenmarkInNY.

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