Hotel Nikolaj - årets udstilling for børn og unge

27. August 2011 to 30. October 2011

In the Autumn of 2011, Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, presented the exhibition Hotel Nikolaj - the annual, interactive exhibition made specifically for children and young people - in which Nikolaj was transformed into a seaside hotel, full of wonders.
This was the ninth consecutive year that Nikolaj presented this particular kind of exhibition which usually attracts large numbers of children and grown-ups.
Hotel Nikolaj was an innovative, sensory and interactive installation, a creative meeting of art and theatre, in which guests where invited to play along, and in which the sensory impressions stirred curiosity and the appetite for exploration.
The audience was invited to explore the many rooms of the hotel in which the residents where present in video installations, soundtracks and props, indicating their identities and life stories.

The audience wass welcomed at the reception desk, from where they could embark on their tour of the many stories the hotel had to tell. Hotel Nikolaj came into being as a collaboration of dramatic artists Gabriel Hernández and Marga Socias of Planeta 15 and Teatro de los Sentidos in Barcelona and noted young Danish video artist Lærke Lauta. Hernández and Socias staged Nikolaj's large Lower Gallery as a connected, labyrinthine hotel installation, taking as their point of departure the characters and narratives evoked by Lærke Lauta's video projections. Lauta employed Nikolaj's unique history to create a universe that engaged all senses and activated the audience. Her video portraits of the residents of the hotel where developed further and extended three-dimensionally by tactile objects, smells and interiors which guests where encouraged to investigate and use, move into, add to, or change. As a part of this exhibition Nikolaj had planned a comprehensive and differentiated programme of educational and workshop activities, revolving around the fictitious character Nikolaj the bellboy, and presented the opportunity to become co-writers of the story and help develop the exhibition as it progressed.

This exhibition was previously shown at the Skovgaard Museet in Viborg under the title Hotel Aurelia. The Nikolaj presentation has been adapted to the distinct exhibition space here and has consequently been renamed Hotel Nikolaj.

About the artists:
Danish video artist Lærke Lauta lives and works in Denmark. She was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2001. Her works have been shown both in Denmark (Århus Kunstbygning, Møstings Hus, Vendsyssel Kunstmuseum, Overgaden, and more) and internationally, particularly in the U.S. (among these the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and the Saint Louis Art Museum).

Spanish dramatic artists Gabriel Hernández and Marga Socias have established the experimental dramatic platform Planeta 15 with the aim to create a place that keeps developing poetic experiences through body memories and sensorial spaces. Socias and Hernandez have both been affiliated with the world-renowned Teatro de los Sentidos in Barcelona for a number of years. In Denmark, the Teatro de los Sentidos is mostly known for its critically acclaimed and well-attended City Puzzle, the opening show of the Copenhagen theatre REPUBLIQUE in 2009. Gabriel Hernández was educated from the drama school in Bogota, Colombia, and has, among others, started the drama company Senzorium in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Marga Socias has a degree in philosophy and pedagogics from the University of Barcelona and has worked as a performer in various Barcelona theatres. She has, among others, worked with performer Marcelli Antunez, the clown Jon Davison and choreographer Andres Corchero.