Joachim Koester’s Day for Night from 1996 is a series of 35 photos documenting scenes from Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen, devoid of people and with a cinematic blue-tone tint that makes day-time appear like night-time.

Freetown Christiania seen through a filter

Day for Night, which was shot the year of Christiania’s 25th anniversary, is a manifestation of the notion of control versus freedom, fiction versus reality and other contrasts that are essential to the communal freetown. In the photos, the colourful crowds that most associate with Christiania have been replaced by an air of night-time solitude due to the blue tone. In fact, all the photos were shot in bright sunlight and thus demonstrate Koester’s unique ability to use photography to question the mysterious narrative power of abandoned places as a part of our common history.

Together for the first time

‘Koester’s photo series, which is now collated into a unified work of art for the first time after having been sold as separate editions, is an absolutely unique supplement to our already extensive collection of art photography,’ says Museum Director Holger Reenberg and adds,

‘In a stroke of serendipity for HEART, the artist William Skotte Olsen’s extensively decorated mobile hut, which is also part of our collection, is featured in one of the photographs and thus ties the works together across the different media.’

A particular sensibility

Day for Night is an early principal piece in Joachim Koester’s work and introduces a particular sensibility, a particular gaze that has since been manifested in his wide-ranging practice. We are therefore delighted that the complete photo series has now been included in a museum collection,’ says Christine Buhl Andersen, chairwoman of the New Carlsberg Foundation.

Day for Night is shown at HEART for the first time in the exhibition ‘Fabelagtigt’ (Fabulous), a curated selection of works from the museum’s permanent collection, which opens on 19 September.