December 12, 2009 - Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art - SOUP publication on public art and life
December 12, 2009

SOUP publication on public art and life

SOUP – A Temporary Art and Architecture Project in Urbanplanen
Out now

Institute of Contemporary Art
Overgaden Neden Vandet 17
1414 Copenhagen K

SOUP – A Temporary Art and Architecture Project in Urbanplanen is an extraordinary book on the poetry, history and uniqueness discovered in the fascinating modernist public housing area of Urbanplanen in Copenhagen during one year of participation-based art interventions.

What role and relevance can art and architecture hold in a faded concrete neighbourhood? How can we enter into dialogue with the phantoms of stigmatized housing estates? What qualities and pitfalls do temporary projects entail? How do aesthetics and ethics relate to each other in socially engaged art?

SOUP (Sun Over UrbanPlanen) took place during 2008 in and around a run-down, inoperational shopping centre in Urbanplanen in the Copenhagen area of Amager. Originally initiated by the Danish Arts Foundation, the project was formulated and realized by artists Kaj Nyborg and Cai Ulrich von Platen, architects Gitte Juul and Carsten Hoff as well as the non-profit exhibition space Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art. Together with a large number of local inhabitants, the artists, architects and curators temporarily transformed the run-down shopping centre into a hybrid house in the form of a colourful bazaar intertwining culture, social activities and commerce. SOUP also included a roof garden, cinema, library, future scenario and a local museum as well as art installations, eating places, workshops and artist talks and other discourse oriented events.

A utopian rediscovery of modernist architecture and its inherent dreams, the project fused the stories of Urbanplanen with its current energy and diversity. Creating an image of a revitalised centre, all activities were based on existing resources. As a symbolic tool to create an inclusive public space, SOUP demonstrated that the mono-functional design of large-scale housing estates built in the post-war period can be changed into manifold uses and are full of activity, individuality and beauty. New futures can be thought, pushed and made real.

The book documents the SOUP project and discusses the challenges and experiences, potentials and dangers that confront art in public space, cultural urban planning, participant-based practices and alternative strategies for urban development.

SOUP – A Temporary Art and Architecture Project in Urbanplanen includes texts and art work by Marie Bruun Yde, Line Kjær, Matthias Hvass Borello, Katherine Clarke, Nanna Gro Henningsen, Cai Ulrich von Platen, Gitte Juul, Kaj Nyborg, Carsten Hoff, Nis Rømer, Ulla Hjorth Nielsen and Mette Martinussen & Global Café. The publication is edited by SOUP and published by Forlaget Vandkunsten.

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Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art
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