Three employees – three focus areas
Behind every exhibition and presentation of the Gallery’s collections stand a wide range of Gallery staff. Here we present three members of staff and how they contributed to the presentation of the collections that visitors can now enjoy at the Gallery.
Bodil Olsson, Technical Co-ordinator in the Department of Operations and Security
In a sense I am in charge of all the invisible bits. Everything from the number of extra walls, wall paint, air humidity, ideas for elegantly presenting digital communication devices, and securing approvals from the building authorities have passed by my desk. For my department handles all interaction with builders, external consultants, and authorities.
Getting a kick!
My day-to-day work encompasses many different tasks, and that is my favourite aspect of the job. I am often called upon to come up with creative and unconventional ideas. Preparing the new presentation of the collections has been an ideal, most enjoyable task. Everything turned out right, and that gives me a kick! It’s been a long process, one that has required constructive dialogue across many different professions. I have often been compelled to say “no” – but fortunately we have also at times quite miraculously succeeded in saying “yes” because we and the builders managed to come up with a special solution to a given challenge.
I am still invisible
Now that the collections are open to the general public, my department is in charge of the general upkeep and operation of the many room. We continue to work behind the scenes.
Marianne Torp, curator and researcher with the Collections and Research department
The tasks I love the most are to stage exhibitions and to assist on the acquisition of works for the permanent collection. Being able to influence what the Gallery exhibits and purchases is very interesting for me; this is where I truly use my art history qualifications.
A new work in the collection
I am depicted standing next to a work of art we recently added to our collection of Danish and International Art after 1900. The work, which was created by the Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vo, consists of a large chandelier. This particular chandelier hung above the large conference table in the French Foreign Ministry – housed in a former hotel in Paris – where Vietnam and USA signed their peace treaty in 1973. The piece is typical of this artist’s work. He is interested in concrete, specific objects that represent events of world history which impact overall socio-political history as well as personal and private lives and stories. I think it is a madly poetic and contemplative work.
Houlberg Rung, educator with the Education Department
My many tasks include the task of deciding which stories we should focus on; what stories should the works tell – in the exhibitions and in the collections? Once the different narratives and stories have been identified I decide on how to present them so that our visitors can interact with the content: should it be presented as a text, a digital table, an audio guide for your smartphone?
I want to surprise and inspire
The best part of my work is the opportunity to inspire people to look at the art, to surprise them by offering new perspectives, and to provide them with a calm and quiet atmosphere that allows them to scrutinise the works themselves. One of the most fun projects I have taken part in was the large-scale Wilhelm Freddie exhibition in 2009. For this event we discovered a wealth of previously unknown archival materials, which helped us present Freddie in a very special way. For example, we re-staged a ballet that Freddie created in the 1940s.
One story at a time
I am most proud of the fact that I believe we have succeeded in creating a display that is very receptive to the users’ needs. The presentation of the collections is very diverse in nature; in each room we have looked at what kind of communication would be most relevant to the art – many different voices are brought into play, and on several occasions we let the audience take an active part in the proceedings. The most difficult part was to opt out of things – to remove works of art from the equation in order to focus on a single narrative so that the story we wanted to tell appears with the greatest clarity possible. We will tell all the other stories some other time.