16 June 2012

Unscheduled stops

Some people live planning their day/week/life well in advance, micromanaged down to the minute. Not me. Even if it can prove difficult in a society that likes things organized in a certain way, and most people get antsy if you suggest something at short notice. But once in a while it really pays off to keep a flexible calendar. Like the other day.

The city has agreed to make a test with 16 aluminum test tubes, at selected locations for the duration of the summer. If all goes well they should be up in about three weeks. The Copenhagen Post wanted to do a follow-up story about it, and within ten minutes of the email, I was on the bike, heading for the offices in the meat packing district. It was totally liberating to meet someone ready for that kind of expediency.

As I exited The CPH Post headquarters, I noticed a guy playing around with neon orange duct tape. 


It turned out to be photographer Lars Bech, doing fat orange arrows on the ground, leading visitors to a photographers group show Big Bang, part of the Copenhagen Photo Festival. He offered me a small tour of the show. Some of his work:

A composite portrait of a guy, pictured in a game he designed.

And this is so good. Bech was commissioned to do a portrait of Queen Margrethe II. But there were so many rules and restrictions surrounding it: no assistants, please, no flash equipment, please, bowing, backing and so on, that he ended up asking if he was even allowed to bring a camera? He was, of course, but under the circumstances he chose to do his portrait of our Queen mother with his camera phone.

To get enough light, he had to position the Queen by the window. This is almost poetic, with a double set of windows.. Sweet Margrethe.

I sort of interrupted him in preparing for the opening night, but first we needed to nerd out about the fact that I was wearing arrow matching shoes. Tiny photo shoot ensued: "pull up your jeans, more, show me some heel", "my nail polish is not matching, I am mortified!". "We'll fix that in photoshop, don't worry". So funny.

(Photo: Lars Bech)

You can't plan these things, that's all I'm saying.

Big Bang (the show)
Copenhagen Photo Festival (7th-17th of June)


  1. You always find interesting things to do. Copenhagen looks like a lot of fun.

    1. Copenhagen is ten times more fun in the summertime. Everybody moves outside, and there are festivals, parties, outdoor concerts and events going on non-stop. But that one was an extraordinarily good day. This one is shaping up pretty nicely too.

  2. Congratulations on the test tube approval!! That's exciting, you really made a difference.

    1. Thank you :-)
      I only hope people will use them. You never know.

  3. Nice shoes! Considering we are still wearing boots in Paris because of the unstoppable rain. (actually today is a pause, the rain resumes tomorrow...). Nice finds, I love unscheduled stops and encounters and last minute decisions. Funny because I also like to plan ahead too, it gives me the freedom to do whatever at the last minute curiously. Well I like the whole story, from the test tubes to the shoes, incl. the photographer :-)

    1. I know it is crazy non-summery here too. I wore long pants with the shoes, it is too cold for skirts and bare legs.

      The not making plans thing frequently backfires, especially around the holidays, when there is no one around to play with. It is a good thing I know how to keep myself entertained (as long as I have my camera, I am never really alone). :-)

  4. AnonymousJune 17, 2012

    As someone who lives by lists, I definitely get your point. BUT...just because I made an appointment with someone in advance doesn't mean that that appointment can't be rescheduled if an amazing opportunity like this pops up (not trying to convince you or anyone else of anything, just explaining how my mind works).

    Congratz on the test tube success...(I think it's ok to call it that by now). Big up yourself!

    And how freaking cool is it to photograph the queen with your phone. Hahaha...I wonder what she was thinking.

    1. Oh, but I do have lists. Loooong and constantly updated ones, mocking me.

      It is really exiting to see how the test tube trial will play out. I can only think of it as a success if people play along. Uh.

      The queen phone shoot is the best, so cool, haha. She looks comfortable, I think she has a good sense of humor.

  5. This is one of the many reasons I try to never be in a hurry. You miss so much if you are (not to mention all the extra stress and worry about being a minute or two late). One of the things I loved about Vilnius, Lithuania, is that nobody was upset if you were 10 minutes late :) They had a much more relative view of time, which is more akin to my own inclinations :)

    I always feel I would like to sit down with Queens of countries (Queen Elizabeth of England seems very sweet as well, if perhaps a bit simple) and just have a chat for a half an hour, over tea. Even better, invite them to my apartment and make them lunch. Talk to them as completely normal people, laugh, hug, and then go on with our real lives.

    1. The thing about the royalty is there are so many rules, I am pretty sure I would choke on them/do it all wrong. The counting your steps, rules for initiating eye contact, bowing and backing out of the room...

      I remember watching a documentary about a Danish minister (I forgot which one), where he was about to visit with the queen, and he was nearly fried alive by a royal servant, for not obeying by the (ancient) rules. So funny and so toe-curling to watch at the same time, haha.


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