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Pulsk Ravn (DK)
Ålekistevej, May 2011

Pulsk Ravn’s signs in front of Ålekistevej’s characteristic apartment buildings reproduce the buildings in miniature. The doubling displaces the scale, renders the great structure innocent and celebrates the ordinary.

What does your work consist of?


Pulsk Ravn
I have made signposts to reproduce buildings on Ålekistevej in miniature. The copies are put in front of the originals as a distant view, a reflection of reality. As a supplement to the bus stop signs on Ålekistevej, my signs indicate the unseen. I focus on the overlooked places, the pockets of this specific urban space. It is a site-specific intervention, which celebrates and portraits “non-spaces” along the street.

What about these places and Ålekistevej interests you?

PR Ålekistevej is sort of a complex place, like a theatre setting. There is a clash between, on the one hand, the wind-swept, bombastic and raw and, on the other hand, something wonderful, nostalgic and sweet, which inspires my model house-like work. As a visually oriented being, I immediately fell in love with the small shops along Ålekistevej – their old fashioned storefronts with shop insignias and curious window displays. But moreover, the local atmosphere is characterized by big housing blocks, strange nooks and crannies and other details that give the place its meaning. So in stead of stating the obvious, I wanted to work with, inter alia, the read brick housing blocks with white windows that dominate the area.

How do you conceive of the unseen or the overlooked?

PR The unseen is that which one does not find immediately interesting or exotic. What you wouldn’t normally notice or indicate. Usually, a few weird corners are the ones giving the place its identity, atmosphere and character. I like to bring the ordinary, what you wouldn’t notice or might even actively ignore, to the forefront as the centre of attention. The work gives column inches to the unseen and ordinary. I don’t want to exhibit the individual inhabitant of Ålekistevej but to pay tribute to their specific neighbourhood.

The small scale also makes the bigger original appear more innocent and forgiving, as opposed to clumsy and ugly, and designates the wonderful aspect of what is usually perceived as profoundly un-wonderful. The project shows the specifically local and extraordinary aspect of those buildings that are otherwise ordinary, common and to be found in the entire country or, actually, the entire world.

PR The displacement of scale suddenly turns that which is usually big to into something small and thus accentuates the familiar aspects of the original. If you turn the scale upside down, the building is suddenly the bigger element in a model town. Houses are giant monuments that surround us at all times. They are sculptures we live in. They pose a fascinating framework for the individual. They are tiny boxes that constitute the city. When you move about in a city there are a lot of planes, contours and levels. Seen with the eyes of a tourist who doesn’t know the context, they are just shapes. I find these graphic and visual elements in the urban landscape interesting: like scenarios that preserve situations in a freeze-frame.

Like the city and its houses, my project poses a framework, but for the uncontrollable. It collaborates with the passers by. My field necessitates a certain humility to allow people to gain different experiences from it. Artists, designers and architects may contribute with a framework you can look through and the greatest thing is when people see something new.

Ålekistevej at Buskager, Hyltebjerg Allé, Vanløse Byvej and Ålekistevej 60-62. Fully accessible

Photo: Malene Nors Tardrup