Experience Art in the Old Water Reservoir Under Frederiksberg
Go See Artist Jeppe Hein Exhibition at Cisternerne
I truly don’t know why it has taken me so long to step inside Copenhagen’s surreal underground art space known as the Cisterns. Or Cisternerne in Danish. Once a water storage facility for the city, the Cisterns could hold nearly 16 million liters of water. That’s over 4 million gallons. Thirsty yet? But you can’t wet your whistle down here anymore, the Cisterns haven’t held water since the early 80s. And when the water had to go-go, the reservoir was transformed into a place for art, starting in 1996. It is now one of the coolest art spaces I have ever experienced. Dark. Slightly dank. Definitely damp. All sorts of atmospheric. And the perfect space for Danish artist Jeppe Hein‘s new exhibition, “In is the Only Way Out,” on now through November 2018.
BEAUTIFUL SØNDERMARKEN PARK IN FREDERIKSBERG
The Cisterns are located in Frederiksberg, an independent municipality within the borders of Copenhagen itself. Home to the Copenhagen Zoo, tree-lined boulevards with old historic homes, and lush green gardens around the Frederiksberg Palace. This is a lovely area to explore and get to know more. At the top of Frederiksberg, sits Søndermarken. A green slice of serenity in the city, Søndermarken is a beauty of a park. It almost feels like Paris up here. An intimate secret place to sit outside and soak in the scenery. Pack a picnic and put down a blanket, this park is worthy of a visit all on its own. But you shouldn’t miss the art. So let’s step inside the Cisterns.
JEPPE HEIN EXHIBITION | IN IS THE ONLY WAY OUT, 2018
And while the park is pretty, it is now it is time to pack up your picnic and step down inside the cool colonnaded interior of the Cisterns and experience some art. Exhibits rotate through this space seasonally. “In is the Only Way Out” opened mid-April and will run through November 2018. Enter through the glass pyramid atop the park. Pay your fee and head down the stairs. Water slowly drips down the sides of the walls, calcifying in waves of color. Delicate stalagmites cling to the corners and decorate arches. The room is dark, but not ominous. The wet floor acts like a mirror to the changes in light. Suddenly a flame is ignited and interrupts the soft drip drip drip down below. Whoosh.
LIGHT MY FIRE
“In is the Only Way Out” is an interactive journey of discovery. You as the viewer make the art happen down here. Step closer and motion sensors start the flame in the first part of the exhibition. It is startling at first. Step away and it turns off again.
REFLECTIONS OF SELF | BE PART OF THE ART
Hein is well-known internationally for his kinetic, mirrored, reflective pieces that invite audience engagement. The multi-room solo show here that fills the expansive Cisterns space is one of the largest he has ever undertaken. Inspired by the artist’s own personal journey, you are invited to reflect with him. After a bout of exhaustion in 2009, Hein found therapy and recuperation through meditation, yoga and other Eastern philosophies. Don’t worry, no downward-facing dog is required to participate here. But you will be part of the art. Giant hanging mirrors slowly turn and move as you pass, catching yourself inside. They are beautiful and mesmerizing.
SINGING BOWLS SET OFF BY PEOPLE ENTERING
The final room is my favorite part of Jeppe’s art. Here rubber balls suspended from wires are released as each person enters the room. They follow a winding snake-like path along a track on the ceiling. The balls move and weave around the space and every so often make contact with illuminated Tibetan singing bowls. Tones echo and resonate around the room as the balls strike the bowls, set at different heights. As more people come in, more tones can be heard. Spend some time in here. It’s serene and seriously magical. The room is cold and your breath condenses in the columns of light adding to the atmospheric setting. You are part of the art. Come in. Have you seen it? What did you think?
GOOD TO KNOW:
Cisternerne, Søndermarken, 2000 Frederiksberg
HOW TO GET THERE:
Public Bus stops near the Cisterns:
Roskildevej (bus No. 6A), Pile Allé (buses 26 and 8A), Valby Langgade (buses 26 and 8A) and Sønder Fasanvej (bus nr. 4A and 171E).
15 April – 30 November
Tue, Wed | 11-18
Thur | 11-20
Fri-Sun | 11-18
Adult | 70 DKK
Senior (65+), Students, Groups (min. 20) | 50 DKK
Children (under 18) | Free
Cash, card, or Mobilepay accepted
RULES OF CONDUCT:
As we want to be a good experience for all visitors, we have the following rules of the law:
– avoid loud behavior
– do not take photographs with tripod and flash
– do not walk on the slopes, as this may damage the drips, etc.
– be aware of the other visitors’ experience