Respectable Thief (2016) by Nástio Mosquito. Photo: Alessandro Sala

Sounding off in Copenhagen

The “hypocritical, ironic, and do not give a fuck” work of Nástio Mosquito headlines Copenhagen Art Week.

August 2017
Themed Sound & Vision, Copenhagen Art Week is this year dedicated to artists reinterpreting the use of sound in contemporary artistic expression. Multimedia and performance artist Nástio Mosquito from Angola is the special guest.
A new raw talent in contemporary art, Mosquito uses video, music and poetry to create charismatic and provocative performances. Respectable Thief, commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for Mosquito’s debut solo exhibition last year, opened the festival on August 24 with a “near-trancelike barrage of music, text, physicality and imagery”. Still showing daily until September 3 is Nástia’s Manifesto in which the artist’s know-it-all feminine alter ego with a Russian accent offers 17 tips for success based on the keywords “Hypocritical, Ironic and Do Not Give a Fuck”; and Ser Hermano, based on CCTV footage of people pushing up against borders and fences.
Now in its fifth edition, Copenhagen Art Week’s programme comprises an array of exhibitions, concerts and performances until September 3.  Inspired by natural and man-made sound, analogue and digital, the conceptual and the popular, and the noisy, melodic and the poetic, the festival examines the artistic intersection between sound, and the cultural and social identity of contemporary art forms.
The popular Art Bar (in cooperation with Copenhagen Contemporary) on Paper Island, a lively waterside location close to the new Olafur Eliasson Rainbow Bridge, still pulsates at the heart of the festival. Every evening the Art Bar features an open-air programme of sound and art performances by artists including Felia Gram-Hansen with Eric Andersen, Hannah Anbert, Jeanette Ehlers and James Lee Byars.
One of the festival’s “trademarks”, says head of Cph Art Week Pernille Sander, “is the will to take art down from the pedestal and promote inclusive, public occasions for the artist to meet and blend in with urban daily life”. In the metro, visitors can experience site-specific art works by DIAS-Digital Interactive Art Space, among others. On chosen public bus routes, the Danish artist Ursula Nistrup has created a sound-based video work and live performance, based on a piece originally created and performed in the labyrinthine streets of Venice.
Other highlights include a special screening of Christian Marclay’s full 34-hour-long video The Clock, a montage of wristwatches, clocks and other time references in film. Danish artist duo Vinyl, Terror & Horror also present a new interactive audio installation entitled Shhhh, which is based on the disproportionately unrealistic movie sounds constructed in post-production.
The Code Art Fair, focusing on emerging galleries from around the world, and the Chart Art Fair, focusing on contemporary art from the Nordic region, also run from August 31 to September 3.
Vinyl, Terror & Horror installation.
Helene Nymann work. Photo: Katrine Møbius
Respectable Thief performed by Nástio Mosquito at the opening of Copenhagen Art Week 2017.
Respectable Thief performed by Nástio Mosquito at the opening of Copenhagen Art Week 2017.
Respectable Thief (2016) by Nástio Mosquito. Photo: MOMA
Respectable Thief performed by Nástio Mosquito at the opening of Copenhagen Art Week 2017.
Vinyl, Terror & Horror installation. Photo: Katrine Møbius
Vinyl, Terror & Horror installation. Photo: Katrine Møbius
Art Bar at Copenhagen Art Week.