Valby Fortællinger: stories from Valby

Here’s a look at some new public art in my favourite part of Copenhagen, Valby.

The community council’s Valby Fortællinger project is now complete (update: leaflet), with a gallery of gavlkunst (murals and other art on the sides of buildings) erected around the area over the last eighteen months or so.

Søren Ulrik Thomsen’s poem regn søvn blå kys at Herman Bangs Plads works rather better in the dark:

gable end, Herman Bangs Plads

at night the poem is displayed in neon, with the word blå (blue) in blue

Ditto Morten Søndergaard’s Drømmegavl (Gable of Dreams; it’s won a prize!) at Boligforening Gadekærvej, 600m2 of aluminum inscribed with 117 dreams out of 350 submitted by the block’s 203 households. Examples of the residents’ dreams:

I’m dreaming about winning the lottery…about Bosnia and Herzegovina…about my neighbour…

gadekær or pond is a stable feature of old Danish villages. Many have fallen victim in the urban context (Hvidovre’s is now somewhere under the motorway), and the Valby one has been filled in, but the area has recently been landscaped with baby hillocks, lollipop trees and benches, which will have to do.

Round the corner in Pigekvarteret seven streets with girls’ names have been adorned with small decorations created by Mette Hannemann – meet Sylvia, Blanka, Laura, Cæcilia, Lukretia, Beate and Valborg:

Beate (maybe?) seems to have gone missing, but we have the other six, each with a different character based on discussions with the locals:

Finally, not content with having a street named after her, Danish silent movie diva Asta Nielsen has just acquired her own piece of light art, a poem written by local resident Eva Tind on the wall at Valby Langgade 44B. Now one of two branches of upscale supermarket Irma on the street, until 1960 this was the site of Valby’s theatre and cinema (story) :


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