Secret Garden

Denmark’s second city Aarhus is the European Union’s capital of culture 2017. As a part of the year-long festival, the city’s main contemporary art museum ARoS is throwing an ambitious Triennale – a massive major art exhibition to supersize its already impressive collection. The theme of the exhibition is “THE GARDEN: End of Times; Beginning of Times” – essentially, nature art seen through an apocalyptic prism.

Among the grade A+ artists contributing original commissions are Paris-Berlin enfant terrible turned minimal moralist Cyprien Gaillard, mischievous Danish troublemakers, the artist trio Superflex and the wonderful Los Angeles-based artist Doug Aitken, who has done more than anyone to collapse the psychic distance between the great American desert and his past-free homeland. For The Garden, Aitken created an anger room housed in an out-of-the way industrial warehouse, where visitors don hard helmets, grab baseball bats and shred all of the furniture in a glass house, surrounded by a lush tropical garden. The piece was completely booked up within days of opening, proving that the Danes are far less repressed than some might think. Closer to home, Norwegian screamer Edvard Munch’s works are being repositioned in relation to the theme, and Danish architect Bjarke Ingels’ BIG Group has constructed an inflatable cloud-like pavilion, which is “built” in only seven minutes. Marx wasn’t explicitly talking about art- fair meeting spaces when he said, “All that is solid melts into air,” but he might as well have been. It’s a big year for the museum – American light artist James Turrell’s extension is also opening later this year.

The ARoS Triennial’s The Past and The Present, run until July 30th. The Past runs until September 10th.

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