Randi and Katrine Create a Village of Art
As the launch date of the 19th Biennale of Sydney grows ever closer, Mr. Wolf caught up with Danish artistic duo, Randi and Katrine, to discuss their latest interactive exhibit titled The Village, which will feature throughout the three-month-long festival.
Randi and Katrine’s collaboration is clearly something that has naturally occurred through a shared passion for architecture and its ability to affect the space that it inhabits. Having both spent their childhoods in different areas of Denmark, they later moved to Copenhagen and met while studying at The Royal Danish Academy. "It's great to have someone to share your ideas and thoughts with, to have someone who is as passionate about a project as yourself, to have four hands instead of two and to support each other when difficult decisions have to be made", explains Randi.
The Village showcases the artistic duo's fascination with living environments, and its ability to take on humanlike qualities. "The Village consists of a series of large houses with human features. The sculptures are anthropomorphic, while also unmistakably retaining their nature as houses in the materials, construction and details. They are houses as one might come across them anywhere in Danish towns, but who have now immigrated to Australia, like so many others before them”, explains Randi. Their inspiration comes from artists such as Jan David, George Bachelards and Gunther Feuersteins, who also explore this biomorphic architecture. They also maintain a shared admiration for the city they call home, “Copenhagen is a source of inspiration- when we travel we also spent a lot of time exploring architecture”, says Katrine.
Although their alliance is clearly something special in nature, it is not without its downfalls, “when you work together as closely as we have done for the last ten years, you share ups and downs and unfortunately we are two people to share the pay cheque. We [also] have to live with each other’s weirdness and kids”, they laugh.
Their workspace can be found in a suburb of Copenhagen called Amanger, to which they cycle on a daily basis and where they can be found building models, drawing and doing a lot of emailing. Their description of it as a small messy studio in an abandoned factory is something that one would only expect from such a colourful pair.
Outside of this they can be found with their family and friends, "watching too many TV series, and talking about them too much, and seeing amazing art, and even more bad art", they joke.
Randi and Katrine’s installation at the Sydney Biennale is distinct from previous exhibitions as it is the first of its kind attempted in such a large scale and will also be the first time the innovative artists have featured at the event. “We are very excited about our participation in the Sydney Biennale and the opportunity to mount such a huge production” says Katrine.
In addition to this, The Village will be exhibited in an old industrial hall on the heritage-listed Cockatoo Island in the middle of pristine Sydney Harbour. "The surroundings", says Katrine “fits in well with the atmosphere we want to create. It will be an interesting challenge to enter into a dialogue with the space and get it to merge with the work, so it becomes a whole little world unto itself that you can enter into.”
Randi also explains the duality of their work in the upcoming exhibition, "it has the ability to be both empty and inhabited. The inhabitants are not people but the houses themselves, who emit a peculiar kind of inner life. The beholder is included in the staging of village life, peopled not by human beings but by the houses themselves.”
Proving that two creative minds are better than one, Randi and Katrine bring a unique touch of Nordic design to Australia through this stunning rendition of interactive art not to be missed.
Biennale runs from the 21st March-9th June at various locations throughout Sydney.
Words: Caroline Scales