An 8.5-metre-high cigar, complete with band, rolled copper leaves and a glowing tip, combined with indoor smoking facilities, such as chairs, a table and ashtrays. Kofoeds Cigar (Kofoed’s Cigar) is the name of Kofoeds Skole’s new outdoor beacon. The installation was created by the artist duo Randi & Katrine, who typically work at the intersection of art, architecture and social structures with works of art that offer immersive experiences and challenge familiar thought patterns while also serving a functional purpose.
Collective and user-involving
Before the eye-catching, alternative smoking space took shape, Randi & Katrine, along with the principal of Kofoeds Skole, Robert Olsen, involved the school’s students in the process. The artist duo visited Kofoeds Skole several times during the process and spoke with the students in order to ensure a good match between people, attitudes and art:
‘It was super important to us to make sure that the idea would resonate at Kofoeds Skole. We wanted it to strike a note where the students felt they could relate to the humour of the piece, rather than feeling that we were exposing them for smoking. And we feel that the pieces achieves that resonance,’ say Randi & Katrine.
Off-beat and beautiful
With their concrete, amusing, off-beat and slightly absurd art, Randi & Katrine are a good fit for the setting of Kofoeds Skoles in a way that makes the school lively and active as well as beautiful:
‘When you are dealing with a place like Kofoeds Skole, which works with people who are socially marginalized, you have to acknowledge that there is still a high ratio of smokers, and that smoking is not their number one issue. In recent years, many smokers have come to feel marginalized. In that light, it’s wild and wonderful that Randi and Katrine, in collaboration with our students, have created what is probably the city’s most spectacular smoking space. They worked with form and furnishings, developing the ordinary framework for how a social initiative like Kofoeds Skole can look, in a way that makes room for both the off-beat and the beautiful,’ says Robert Olsen, principal of Kofoeds Skole.
More than a well-rolled cigar
Kofoeds Cigar was realized thanks to a donation from the New Carlsberg Foundation, which also proposed Randi & Katrine for the project during the early phase of the process.
‘Kofoeds Cigar is more than a well-rolled cigar. It is art that takes the place and its users seriously, with equal parts originality and humility. Randi & Katrine have an amazing, almost anthropological approach to attuning and establishing a dialogue with their surroundings. That openness and curiosity are the perfect recipe for a work of art that is so closely tied to its site while still managing to provide a boost in aesthetic, functional and, not least, social terms,’ says Christine Buhl Andersen, chairwoman of the New Carlsberg Foundation.
The public can see Kofoeds Cigar in the courtyard of Kofoeds Skole from Tuesday, 6 April. The courtyard is open to the public from 8.00 to 20.00 on weekdays, where you can see and use the installation and learn about the process in a short film.
About Randi & Katrine
The artist duo Randi & Katrine is a partnership between Randi Jørgensen (b. 1974) and Katrine Malinovsky (b. 1976). Both graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 2005 and have worked together since 2004, drawing attention with large, often user-involving installations that are rarely without humour. Their works are represented in several Danish museums, including ARoS, ARKEN, Ordupgaard and KØS – museum of art in public spaces, and have also created a series of high-profile decorative projects in the public realm. In addition to a large number of exhibitions in Denmark, the duo participated in the 2014 Biennale in Sydney and have also exhibited in Istanbul, Seoul and New York.