Dialogue benches unveiled in Tivoli

The benches by Michael Kvium and Maria Rubinke will be in Tivoli all summer.

Dialogue benches unveiled in Tivoli

22 June 2021

Two ‘dialogue benches’ by renowned Danish artists have been unveiled in Tivoli for Copenhagen 2021 WorldPride and EuroGames.

Maria Rubinke’s dialogue bench.

WorldPride and EuroGames will be in Copenhagen from 12-22 August, and hundreds of interesting events will take place across the city in accordance with regulations.

One of the initiatives is two so-called dialogue benches created by the renowned Danish artists Michael Kvium and Maria Rubinke. The benches turn up the colours and focus on dialogue and diversity, and with their unveiling, the run-up to this year’s celebration of WorldPride and EuroGames in Copenhagen and Malmö is opened. The dialogue benches were unveiled today in Tivoli, where they can be experienced throughout the summer.

Maria Rubinke with her dialogue bench.

Michael Kvium has created a distinctive yellow bench called ‘Blind Date Bench’ with three distinctive black egg-shaped objects, which recur from some of the artist’s previous works. The black iron eggs can be seen as the blind spots from old armbands used by people who are blind. Michael Kvium has used this sign to point out our constant mental blindness to reality.

At the same time, the black eggs are complementary to the life-giving white eggs. For Michael Kvium, dialogue is about daring to get to know other people, to open up to each other, to look in behind the facades and to see people unfold.

“I’ve never experienced meeting a person who got less and less interesting,” says Michael Kvium, adding: “The reality would also be boring if we were just so one-dimensional that we kind of represented just the role you had assigned to yourself. The diversity that then arises is really one of the things that makes life great.”

Hear more of Michael Kvium’s thoughts on dialogue and diversity here.

Detail from Michael Kvium’s dialogue bench.

On Maria Rubinke’s dialogue bench, called ‘No Walk in the Park’, sits a frog of gigantic dimensions and cast in bronze. Waiting, on an ordinary park bench, anchored in Copenhagen – perhaps it is the prince from the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale who has turned into a frog again? It’s not so easy being a handsome prince trapped in a frog’s body. And in the fairy tale, a battle against bias unfolds. It’s not a pleasant match – it’s no walk in the park. Despite all kinds of promises, the future does not necessarily take place on safe ground. We need hope and willpower.

“Although Copenhagen 2021 is a celebration, the fight for LGBTI+ rights is certainly not pure celebration and trouble. Just as the frog symbolizes integrity and belief in good, WorldPride is a manifestation of – and a continuing reminder of – promises of respect and rights for all people, regardless of sexuality,” says Maria Rubinke.

Michael Kvium’s dialogue bench.

Michael Kvium and Maria Rubinke’s benches, created in collaboration with Flügger, will be sold at auction after WorldPride and EuroGames, and the proceeds will go to Copenhagen 2021.

Flügger are a Main Official Partner of Copenhagen 2021.

Images : Per Morten Abrahamsen