Cisterns – a former water reservoir in Copenhagen.
You walk down the stairs. From a sunny Afternoon and the airy freshness to a dark and cold underground space. You are met by a changing area with flickering lights. You can tell from the visuals that you are supposed to change your footwear from your Summer sandals to these big rubber boots lined up on the shelves. Choose your size. You do it with no hesitation and then enter the dark chambers. The floor is flooded. The dented concrete floor is covered by 10 centimetres of water. It is difficult to see anything. But you can feel the cold water from the floor covering up the boots. It is very cold. You spend a few minutes getting used to the scenario. When the elements of darkness and water have become familiar to you, you begin to make new orientations. There is a purple light further down an aisle in the dark underground space. Slowly you begin to walk. First with no orientation. Room by room the overview returns. Somewhere in the installation space you are met by letters in blue neon light forming the sentence: It is not the end of the world. And they are right. It is not.
In 2019 the Danish art collective SUPERFLEX transformed the former water reservoir to a gloomy futuristic vision called It Is Not The End Of The World. The spectators could walk through the dark, wet and cold chambers with borrowed rubber boots exploring the moody and cinematic light installations.
In the Gardens of Frederiksberg Castle lies the Cisterns (Cisternerne). Build on Frederiksberg Hill in 1856 the water reservoir lies 31 meters above sea level. In 1933 the water reservoir was closed and then forgotten for decades until the chambers became part of various art museums.
Now the venue is run by Frederiksberg Museum and they have an experimental approach to this exhibition venue with a mix of art, theatre, installations, concerts.
Link to website: https://cisternerne.dk/en/exhibition/super-flex/
Photography by Henrik Hansen & Dea Simonsen
Words by Dea Simonsen