At moment's like these, I do feel blessed to enjoy living in DC. The last time I felt it so acutely was the Hirshhorn's magical Doug Aitken installation of Song 1.
Well, to the point. Nordic Cool hits DC! For the next month, the Kennedy Center will glow each night with blue light and shimmers of green, depicting the northern lights and signaling what has taken over its theaters and galleries inside. And there's more.
The cultural center has become an international museum and showplace for Northern European cultures with "Nordic Cool," a festival that runs through March 17. Hoorah! Let the games begin! It features music, theater and dance, as well as exhibitions, film, literature and cuisine featuring more than 700 artists from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, as well as Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Aland Islands. This will be the perfect way to get my Nordic fix -- as you may know I've been missing Scandinavia as of late.
Here are a few design features definitely worth checking out:
Nordic Design Illustrated - This exhibition, presenting a range of design, craft, and industrial products from throughout the Nordic region, aims to highlight aspects of Nordic contemporary design in all its forms, and its ubiquitous nature in daily life. (North Gallery at the Kennedy Center)
New Nordic--Architecture and Identity (Denmark) - From Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (perhaps my favorite museum anywhere!), this exhibition explores the relationship of Nordic culture, identity, and architecture. (Exterior Grounds at the Kennedy Center - look for the huge elk!)
Designing Nature: Art & Architecture in Cities and Public Spaces - This Sunday at 4pm Danish architect Bjarke Ingels discusses the development, challenges, and responses to sustainable design in public spaces. Bjarke Ingels is one of those rare starchitects with BIG ideas (pun intended -- he is the founder of BIG after all) that he actually brings into being. If you don't know his work, google now -- he always makes thinking outside the box seem obvious and inexorably inevitable somehow. Oh, and it's free - did I mention?
Finally - Cool Club - For the duration of Nordic Cool 2013, the Terrace Gallery will become the Cool Club, an extension of the Nordic Design Illustrated exhibition. The Cool Club will feature the iconic Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs, on loan from Fritz Hansen, the Embassy of Denmark in Washington, D.C., and Furniture from Scandinavia, and a new curtain made from fabric by Marimekko. Enjoy!
Once I kick this head cold, I'm planning on making it over to check out the cultural smörgåsbord - more pics to come - promise!