Apropos en eng / Concerning a Meadow is a relational and time-based visual art project, performed by Kerstin Bergendal (DK). It aims to challenge and supplement a combined urban development scheme and climate protection plan concerning an existing green commons, in the urban area Bispebjerg, in Copenhagen NW in Denmark. This website is designed as a comprehensive public presentation of the project.

Above, an ultra-short video shows the process and method of the art project. Below, you find a summary of the art project. The image show the area in question, as it appeared in 2019, at the start of the art project.

 

For decades, visual artist Kerstin Bergendal (DK) has mapped and co-organized selected public areas, as a way to re-imagine co-ownership and agency in contemporary society. Her preferred mode of working, the inquiry, also serves as a way to tease out what roles a visual artist can play, in our time.

The City of Copenhagen is currently realizing a major climate protection scheme. New sewer systems are being installed in selected locations of the city. The two green areas of Bispeparken and Grønningen, adjacent to each other, have been selected for cloudburst protection plan. They will subsequently also be transformed into a public city park. Against this backdrop, in 2019, the Danish Arts Foundation and the City of Copenhagen’s Area Renewal Area Northwest invited Kerstin Bergendal to carry out a relational and time-based art project on, and for, the area.

Concerning a meadow emerged in the intersection between spatial planning, statutory public consultation, and contemporary art.  It began with a process of mapping the utterly local, yet officially public space. This process was deliberatly performed as a parallel to, but independent of the mandatory feasibility studies,  a municipality must carry out, before any urban development scheme can be initiated. Bergendal´s mapping consists of a collection of actual, lived experiences of the everyday life on site, and of its historical conditions and social conflict zones. The format used, was the video interview. By simply asking around for little over a year, and in meetings with different people on-site, Bergendal establishes relationships with a gradually expanded circle of participants in the area.

Along the way, participants come to meet each other, in a different informal format and above all video-documented dialogue, than otherwise used in municipal consultation phases. In front of the cameras, participants unfold a joint hyperlocal and sometimes a heated discussion. At first, only concerning the park. Gradually, however conversations grew outwards also to include considerations of other local, common matters. This led to a certain revision of the kinds of social encounters the future park should respond to. These conversations were introduced physically in the park, in a one-day exhibition.

Subsequently, in collaboration with the architects, the artist also designed a series of permanent elements, as additions to the concluded design referencing back to the conversations.

The art project was carried out during the peak of the corona crisis. It was realized in collaboration with graphic designer and visual artist Åse Eg Jørgensen and Area Renewal NV by Sara Kathrine Nissen. Architects from SLA and engineers from NIRAS, chosen in 2020 as advisors for cloudburst protection, have also continuously contributed to the various phases of the art project. Park and art are expected to be completed in 2024.

View of the green from the South
View of the green from the South

About this website

At the top of this page, you find 5 tabs. Using 4-17 minutes clips from a documentary, each of these tabs will introduce you to an aspect of the project.

Site relates the history of the district and its settlements, as well as the basic concept. (The DK version of the home page also offers access to an archive of references, from the artist´s research, which ties the urban area to an overall Danish history.)

Voices displays 16 portraits in the format of 8-10” videos. You will meet very different personalities, offering their point of view of the areas in question, and their rather different points of view and attitudes towards future urban renewal.

Under Interface, you will find documentation of some of the events and conversations organized by the art project in or in relation to the physical green area. These acts were an invitation to residents, advisors, planners, and others in the area, to meet and speak with each other. The informal format opens up diverse viewpoints, priorities, and issues than just the purely physical – which is otherwise the focus of planning.

Track lead you to the drawings of Kerstin Bergendal’s permanent addition to the concluded design of the park. They are all prepared in collaboration with the landscape architects from SLA and refer specifically to the informal conversations between residents and agents.

 

 

 

Concerning a meadow has received generous support from