New Nordic: Architecture & Identity is a new exhibition at Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, exploring how the latest developments in the five Nordic countries are taking form. The show attempts to explore certain "nordic" features that may recur in architecture, and whether this involves repeated reinterpretations of a fundamental idioms. Participating architects include Caruso St. John Architects, Fantastic Norway Architects, 3XN, Gehl Architects, Henning Larsen Architects, Julien de Smedt Architects, Snøhetta, and Bjarke Ingels Group.
The exhibition is the first in a new series at Louisiana which will explore the relationship of architecture to culture and identity; memories and narratives are reflected materially and spatially. Three themes stress the New Nordic, evident in the clash between the architects' cultural roots and the global perspective that is an inevitable condition today.
Theme I: Reassessing the site-specific
The introduction to the theme is a film where the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor and his Finnish colleague Juhani Pallasmaa discuss Nordic culture and identity. The architects share the view of place as a mutable entity in which they can interweave physical, cultural and mental processes to renew place-specific building culture. Also featured are video artist Elina Brotherus, film-maker Pi Michael and film producer Wilfred Hauke from dmfilm, in collaboration with ARTE. To show similarities and differences in the Nordic countries the museum has invited five Nordic architects to build a house each: Studio Granda, Iceland, Johan Celsing, Sweden, Jarmund/Vigsnæs, Norway, Lassila Hirvilammi, Finland and Lundgaard & Tranberg, Denmark.
Theme II: Reinterpreting community
This section attempts to identify tendencies in public building that reflect the distinctive Nordic sense of community. The Nordic welfare model is viewed here as a processual, mutable entity that helps to form what is perceived as Nordic identity and culture: where is the community going, and what new institutions represent the welfare society of the future? Many public buildings are conceived as icons of brand new or renovated older neighbourhoods.
Theme III: Reclaiming public space
The third and last theme in the exhibition focuses on specific articulations of public space, and on how values in the Nordic countries are expressed in the way the city is arranged. For this section too, two important installations have been created. In the first the architectural firm SLA has created an artificial landscape as a setting for a number of narratives about how nature and landscape are combined in integrated ways. The second installation, "Life Between Buildings" is about architect Jan Gehl's ideas on how city space is experienced and used.
The exhibition also includes a number of small "Nordic theatres" where several cultural personalities from the five Nordic countries each contribute content to a box that offers a suggestion for Nordic identity today. The content may be objects, a film or something else that can be shown in the box. A series of lectures will also be organized in connection with exhibition, which is curated by the museum curator Kjeld Kjeldsen and architect Michael Asgaard Andersen.
From 29 June through 21 October 2012
New Nordic: Architecture & Identity
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art