The new school in central Aarhus, designed by Henning Larsen Architects, seeks to stimulate movement – physical, social, and mental – among its students. It is an architectural response to current ideas about the need for increased student activity during school hours, which is achieved by stimulating the senses through the effects of its architecture and surprising materials – raw and refined / simple and complex.
Accessibility, movement, and visibility are central elements of the structure – with movement encoded as the structure’s underlying DNA. Human thought and conduct are shaped by our situational, physical surrounds, and here students will develop amid an interplay between contrasting elements. These elements range from spacious, open, high-ceilinged areas to rooms well-suited to indepth group and individual learning processes.
Yet while it is one thing to stimulate students with generous and interesting spaces, it is another to stimulate and challenge them mentally with an art installation. For that reason, the work depicts people in psychological, emotional, political, as well as physical movement. The end-wall in the high-ceilinged canteen was selected as the site for the woven artwork.
The requirement for the commission was an artwork integrated with the building; a vivid expression rendered in a volume that is well-suited to the site’s dimensions. It aims to be a work capable of sparking interest and perplexity, as well as being a source of speculation, inspiration, surprise, and enrichment. It seeks to be a work inviting closer inspection, a work that leaves you wondering.
A streaming sequence of blurred stripes in various colours runs diagonally down across the surface of the large weaving. The scene is Broadway in New York where people are protesting about police brutality toward a black man, Eric Garner, who died while being arrested. A camera’s lightsensitive lens, held open for several seconds, recorded the protest march on the street – a stream of people with banners, placards, and signs. Their motion creates stripes which almost resemble light brushstrokes. Trash bins, newspaper vending boxes, a couple of onlookers, and a photographer stand still in the picture – a little unclear and diffuse. Meanwhile, the road’s arrows, words, and lanes appear as sharp white markings on the black asphalt. The recorded scenes were later manipulated and cropped. Colours have been accentuated and balanced to suit the final composition that the weaving is based upon.
The motif expresses motion in diverse ways: a mental, emotional, political, as well as physical movement. Frederiksbjerg School provides a framework for people in motion. It is an educational site for children and youths who are learning and developing. In this connection, the motif of ‘Movement’ has been chosen as an expression of social engagement which seeks to challenge and inspire.