Welcome to FOKUS 2019!
It is a pleasure to bid everyone welcome to the 9th edition of FOKUS video art festival, once again this year filling Copenhagen with video works displaying a rich international variety. The previews of 2019 will soon be announced. See previews of all 10 selected videos from 2018 further down on this page!
A jury of professionals from the worlds of visual art and film have selected ten works out of the many entries submitted for the FOKUS open call, representing 20 different countries. These works have been selected strictly from artistic criteria – obviously in terms of form and content, but also based on the unpredictability of the work as a whole. FOKUS video art festival provides the space for a significant niche within the art world, pretty close to the world of film but not one that is necessarily best experienced in a cinema.
The ten nominated works can be seen at Nikolaj Kunsthal and at various institutions within the Copenhagen Cultural District. Find FOKUS here. During the festival period, there will be events taking a closer look at the individual works.
For the first time, we also present an audience award. You may cast your vote for your favourite film – and, of course, take part when the award is presented on March 28.
We hope that a large number of people will explore the world of video art within the festival period of February 28 to March 31. It presents the opportunity to check out the current state of affairs within today’s video art, with the guarantee to be offered thought-provoking, entertaining and unpredictable art experiences, either in pocket size or in a large-scale format.
On behalf of Nikolaj Kunsthal we should like to express my sincere gratitude to The Danish Film Institute and the Danish Art Foundation’s Committee for Visual Arts Project Funding for their support to the festival as well as to the Copenhagen Cultural District and the institutions there that house the works. So see you there and welcome to FOKUS2019!
The FOKUS Open Call is now closed and the 10 shortlisted videos selected by the jury. Read more about FOKUS Open Call here.
The opening of FOKUS festival 2019 will take place at Nikolaj Kunsthal the 28th of February. From then you will also be able to see the selected Open Call videos at Nikolaj Kunsthal and selected venues in the Cultural District in Copenhagen. Shortlisted videos will compete for the FOKUS First Prize of €1000, The Jury Special Mention and The Audience Award of €500 each. The jury will announce the winners at the Award Show the 28th of March, taking place at The Theatre Museum at The Court Theatre. During the festival period it will also be possible participating in several events (TBA).
Last year almost 20.000 people visited the FOKUS shortlist, which was possible to experience at Thorvaldsens Museum, Danish Jewish Museum, Ruins under Christiansborg. You can see all 2019 venues here!
The video art works have been considered by a professional panel consisting of 4 personalities such as curators, artists and representatives from the film business.
The 2019 jury consists of: Simon Starling, artist, Rasmus Brendstrup, programme editor at The Cinematheque, Helene Nyborg Bay, the artistic director at Nikolaj Kunsthal and Maja Krebs Sørensen, Production and event co-ordinator at Nikolaj Kunsthal.
Simon Starling was born in Epsom, England, in 1967. He graduated from the Glasgow School of Art, and was professor of fine arts at the Städelschule in Frankfurt from 2003 to 2013. Starling won the Turner Prize in 2005 and was shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize in 2004. He represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and has had solo exhibitions at Casa Luis Barragán in Mexico City, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Museo Experimental El Eco in Mexico City, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Power Plant in Toronto, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in Germany and Tate Britain in London. Starling lives in Copenhagen.
Ramus Brendstrup is 43 years old and has since 2005 been a programme editor at The Cinematheque, were he has, among other things, started the festival Arabian Nights. He is a reviewer at the film magazine Ekko and gives lectures and writes about film culture and film art in various papers and magazines (among others about video artists Shirin Neshat and Pipilotti Rist). Brendstrup holds an MA in Modern Culture and Cultural Communication from the University of Copenhagen.
Helene Nyborg Bay
Helene Nyborg Bay is the artistic director at Nikolaj Kunsthal. Since 2001, she has been working closely with artists from the Danish and international art scene, among these Julian Rosefeldt, Haroon Mirza, Aneta Greszyskowska, Mika Ninagawa, Andreas Emenius, along with many Danish contemporary artists. Director at Viborg Kunsthal 2012-2016 and subsequently employed at Nikolaj Kunsthal. Has for a number of years been a board member of The Danish Association of Art Centers and is currently chairman of the board of The Nordic House in the Faroe Islands. From 2006-2011 she ran her own gallery, Helene Nyborg Contemporary, in Copenhagen.
Maja Krebs Sørensen
Production and event co-ordinator at Nikolaj Kunsthal. Has for three years been a part of realising the FOKUS video art festival at Nikolaj Kunsthal. She has for a number of years worked as a project manager and curator for Copenhagen Fashion Film Festival where she has, in particular, focused on talent development, exhibition production and short films. Maja Krebs Sørensen is in charge of the co-ordination of the 2019 edition of the FOKUS video art festival.