FOKUS 2012
Video Art Festival

9. February 2012 to 26. February 2012

Once again, video art is in focus when Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, opens its doors to the FOKUS Video Art Festival 2012, transforming the venue into a mecca for video art. You can experience an Open Call programme; current Danish video art; VJ-Nights; and a polyphony of voices in Artur Zmijewski's work "Democracies" - as well as meetings with video art outside the Nikolaj exhibition space as such at various locations in Copenhagen.

Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, is back with the follow-up to last year's great success, the FOKUS Video Art Festival. Copenhagen has now truly gained a platform for video art, the established as well as the experimental variety. Taking place this year in a period from February 9 to 26, the three weeks of Thursdays to Sundays will see Nikolaj transformed into one large video art scene, inviting guests to step into the dark to check out an extensive video programme of both Danish and international artists, talks and events. And once again this year, FOKUS has sent out an open call, inviting both established artists and new and upcoming talents to submit video works for the Festival programme.
A jury with a cross-disciplinary panel has assessed the works submitted and has selected 10 pieces to be presented at the opening night of the Festival, when three of them will be elected winners and given a prize. The jury members are: Slavko Kacunko (video expert and professor of art history and visual culture at the University of Copenhagen; Christina Wilson (gallery owner), Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (performance artist), as well as Elisabeth Delin Hansen and Andreas Brøgger (director of and curator at Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, respectively). The three invited jury members have also curated each their programme with their take on what constitutes the most interesting videos of the art scene.
FOKUS ambitions to highlight what is going on at the Danish video art scene and has therefore invited these eight noted video artists to present their most recent works: Rose Eken, Søren Thilo Funder, Gudrun Hasle, Elsebeth Jørgensen, Lasse Lau, Lærke Lauta, Pia Rönicke, and Lisa Strömbeck. 
In addition to this, FOKUS zooms in on Polish artist Artur Zmijewski, who is also the curator of the 2012 Berlin Biennale. His large-scale work Democracies surrounds its spectators with 20 videos, each presenting different and surprising ways of practising democracy. FOKUS furthermore checks out the Spanish video art scene by inviting curator Julia Morandeira of the festival LOOP/ Screen from Barcelona to preside over a programme of the video scene in and around Barcelona.
As a first note of the late summer "Copenhagen Art Festival", Nikolaj, along with the four other Copenhagen art centres - Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, GL Strand Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, and Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art - have curated a video programme on communities. This programme can be found at The Black Diamond, Black Pop Contemporary Art, Hotel Fox, and Props Coffee Shop, as well as at the five art centres. During the Festival period, The Nikolaj art centre becomes the Nikolaj mecca for video art; and the Festival presents the opportunity to get food and drink from the café or to chill out in Fatboy bean bags while you enjoy the large video programme with its accompanying artist talks, VJ-Nights, Bring Your Own Beamer, as well as Close Ups where we take a close look at single works, among these video pioneer Bill Viola's The Night Journey. As a new feature of this year's FOKUS, it can also be found at new and perhaps surprising locations such as libraries, culture centres, a hairdresser, a bookshop...  

During the FOKUS exhibition period, Nikolaj operates with special Festival opening hours: Thursday to Friday from 12 to 22, Saturday to Sunday from 12 to 18; Monday to Wednesday closed. NB: please note the extended opening hours of Thursday, February 9: 17 to 22, and Saturday, February 18: 12 to 23.