‘Dialogue benches’ by Danish artists unveiled in Tivoli for WorldPride and EuroGames

The colors have been turned up in Tivoli with the unveiling of two dialogue benches by Michael Kvium and Maria Rubinke. The benches were created in collaboration with Flügger, and in partnership with Copenhagen 2021, the organiser of WorldPride and EuroGames that will take place in August. The benches were presented by Flügger CEO Sune Schnack.

WorldPride and EuroGames will be in Copenhagen in August, and in keeping with current restrictions, hundreds of small interesting events will take place across the city. One of these is the ‘discussion benches’ created by the renowned Danish artists Michael Kvium and Maria Rubinke. The benches pop with color and put the spotlight on discussion and diversity, and their unveiling marks the run-up to this year’s celebration of WorldPride and EuroGames in Copenhagen and Malmö. The dialogue benches were unveiled in Tivoli, where they can be found throughout the summer.

Michael Kvium has created a distinctive yellow bench called ‘Blind Date Bench’ with three distinctive black egg-shaped objects, a recurring theme in the artist’s previous work. The black iron eggs resemble the old armbands used to signify being blind. Michael Kvium has used this to symbolise 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 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,” explains 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 dialouge and diversity here.

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 an pleasant watch – 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 all fun and games. Just as the frog symbolises integrity and belief in good, WorldPride is a manifestation – and a continuing reminder – of a promise to respect the rights of all people, regardless of sexuality,” says Maria Rubinke.

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