JYTTE HØY
 
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CURRENT
CURRICULUM VITAE
EXHIBITIONS
PUBLICATIONS
PROJECTS
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GRINDSTED STENBÆR 2015
ALPHABET CITY 2012
RAILWAY-TALE & BIG X 2012
MR. FOGGI 2009
HIMMEL-LEGEMER/HIMMELKÖRPER 1999
SHOWROOM
 
© JYTTE HØY
PHOTO CREDIT:
ANDERS SUNE BERG
Lunch-break at Campus Holmen
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ALPHABET CITY. A PERMANENT SCULPTURAL INSTALLATION FOR CAMPUS HOLMEN, 2012

The art piece, Alphabet City, consists of 23 sculptures in stone, steel and wood. The individual sculptures, all shaped as letters from the alphabet, are placed in the grass along the street in front of the Art Schools at Campus Holmen. The sculptures stretch themselves for approximately 200 meters along both side of the street. Together the letters spell an iconic sentence from popular culture. If you know your rock history, you will know, that the sentence is about a special place in the songwriter’s childhood. By singing this sentence he urges us not to forget those places. To decode the sentence you have to walk along the sculptures.

S-T-R-A-W-B-E-R-R-Y-F-I-E-L-D-S-F-O-R-E-V-E-R

Campus Holmen contains Denmark’s most densely packed concentration of educational institutions dealing with the aesthetic disciplines.

Commisioned by The Danish Arts Foundation and The Danish University Property Agency.

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ALPHABET CITY-DK
ALPHABET CITY-UK

ALPHABET CITY. Text by Torben Sangild

Letters are, first and foremost, signs. They are so familiar to us that we tend to perceive them as almost immaterial entities. However, letters are also sensuous phenomena. Handwriting is a personal imprint. Printed letters are graphically designed: each individual font has its own visual expression. Letters are signs for certain sounds: tones (vowels) and noise (consonants). When we utter these sounds, we not only make movements with the mouth but we also impart a dramatic expression to our speech; we give body to the script and each and every minuscule intonation carries meaning. Accordingly, letters embody the architectonic, the musical and dramatic in their immediate everyday praxis.

"Alphabet City" renders the letters sculptural and massively palpable. The characters take on weight and space; you can touch them and feel their surfaces. You can actually climb up on some of them while there are others you can sit on. Schools and letters are closely connected: one of the first things a child learns to do is to write letters and get to know the alphabet. Schools of aesthetic disciplines are different from most other educational institutions. They are creative rather than academic. What all art schools are concerned with – and what Jytte Høy’s sculptures similarly involve – is rendering the two-dimensional palpable: the architect’s drawings that become physical building bodies; the musician, who turns written notes into sounds; directors and actors, who carry a written script into realization as corporeal life unfolding on the stage or on the screen. And even when these scores and manuscripts are tossed aside, for the sake of taking a more improvisational kind of approach, there is still an intrinsic relation to the tradition for texts that have been written down.

The individual sculptures, as such, are economically compact, simple and generally symmetrical. However, their variation and especially their way of being set up on the lawns are more askew. Some of the sculptures appear to be almost toppled or flung forth, as a counterbalance to the impeccable order that each one of them represents.

The forms in “Alphabet City” can be divided up into certain categories: Stackings with stair-like elements; massive volumes that constitute, in themselves, a letter; other volumes where the letter is inscribed in the manner of an ornament; and steel constructions, where the letter serves as the point of origin for something that might call to mind an architectonic framework. And then there are the two ‘R’s that do not fall in under any of these basic principles.

The sculptures all relate to the scale of the body. Some are tall and vertical: they strive upwards and are reminiscent of socles or monuments, with all the appurtenant authority linked up to these. Others are oriented more horizontally, with the result that you feel superior to them and can, ad libitum, sit down or step on them. The ‘O’ happens to be located close to the bus stop and can serve as a place to sit down for those who might be waiting. Some of the sculptures are almost at eye level with the observer.

The materials provide a historical perspective with palpable connections to ancient and classical sculpture: marble, sandstone, ironwood, granite, basalt. And then there’s the modern steel, which was an essential prerequisite for modern urban architecture. The black and the white predominate, with the ironwood’s matte reddish-brown and the sandstone’s discrete traces of yellow as the only deviations.

The letters form three words, which comprise a title that refers to a place. Everybody knows the title. But the place to which it refers is less familiar. It is the special place belonging to a childhood, which must never be forgotten.

Translated by Dan A. Marmorstein

 
 
Image: Lunch-break at Campus Holmen