A. installation, Project for a Copenhagen Suburb| B. Giacomo Castagnola’s ‘Tunnel’ for the ‘Suburb, Site, Environment’ exhibition of 2009 | C. ‘By Invitiation Only’ inaguration, summer 2014 | and E. ‘We can make room for you wholesale’ installation by THE WINTER OFFICE, 2014. Photo credit: InstantHerlev institute, 2017.

InstantHERLEV institute

Selected Installations and Works

InstantHERLEV institute (IHi) is an exhibition-making organization for site-specific projects coordinated by artist and curator Anja Franke.

InstantHERLEV institute got established in Anja Franke’s ordinary single-family suburban home in the municipality or kommune of Herlev that forms part of the greater Copenhagen area.

IHi was conceived as an artist-run and open exhibition space to develop site-specific and intervention art projects. Often related to land use interpretation, this small organization has been presenting artists from various parts of the world to produce installations on its property and around Herlev since its inception in 2004. To this end, the private and public space divide is used during its regular program of exhibitions, where Anja Franke’s home and property become a temporary and welcoming public space that she offers to help enact conversation-changing dialogue and new forms of exchanging art between guests, artists, and visitors.

The initial idea was to use the local municipality of Herlev as a microcosm of the larger global picture. However, InstantHERLEV institute has become a mobile concept, and at times, operating in different contexts, even if this means changing or moving to other arenas enabled by other people’s initiatives that enact similar strategies for art or to further other artist-run environs.

InstantHERLEV institute works as a platform for artists, architects, and designers to exchange knowledge and as a cultural center for ideas and new network definitions for independent artistic mobility and self-knowledge. Operating across cultures and urban environments, this organization initiates projects at a 1:1 scale. These productions often investigate and question the relationship between the private and the public and force ‘the local’ and ‘the global’ to shape new transactions between art and life.

InstantHERLEV institute belongs to a cultural laboratory and fabric that is interested in planning and activating the suburban micro-zone. But in practice, it has been able to stitch new forms of awareness of ephemeral aesthetic and political moments. For example, in the various creative and social situations that sustain temporary moments of dialog and reflection given in the concrete networks the InstantHERLEV institute helps foster.

The projects of this organization are characterized by an artistic attitude that focuses on the world of actionable artistic intervention and ongoing experimentation – even if this means the expansion and interrogation of various forms of familiar, intimate, or organized domesticity in a public context. 

Frequently the artistic interventions at IHi seek to form dialogue around concrete solutions to global problems on a local level, producing ‘instant’ critical and plural utopias. Still, these embodied wishes are at the root of art and change – and very much at the center of this ongoing artistic experiment.