The King and the Mockingbird at Vermilion Sands

Kasper Bosmans

Artists: Kasper Bosmans, Than Hussein Clark, Cali Thornhill Dewitt, Louisa Gagliardi, Goodiepal, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Hampus Lindwall, Sophia Al Maria, Ingo Niermann, Liu Shiyuan

Exhibition title: The King and the Mockingbird

Curated by: Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou

Venue: Vermilion Sands, Copenhagen, Denmark

Date: August 27 – October 1, 2016

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Vermilion Sands

The King and the Mockingbird is inspired by the eponymous French animation movie realised by the poet Jacques Prévert and the cartoonist Paul Grimault, itself based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep. Taking place in the kingdom of Takicardia, the film follows the escape of two lovers from a tyrannical monarch who rules a delirious megalopolis. Composed of a kaleidoscope of architectural styles, from neoclassical and ancient Chinese, to modernist genre, this fortress city is entirely devoted to the king and his egotistical pleasures. Escaping throughout its infinite levels with the help of a freedom-loving and mischievous bird, the candid couple discovers the cramped and crowded lower city in which exhausted masses never see the light. Started in the early fifties but finished and released thirty years later, The King and The Mockingbird is a political fiction that explores the aesthetic ambition of this retroactive Dubai and its fascinating program of control and delusion. Described as the conflation between an authoritarian regime and a resort destination, this vertical utopia of wonders and violence uses propaganda, architecture, and music in order to produce a psychotropic urban tale. In this world, altitude is synonymous to highly sophisticated pleasures, security, and abundance whereas the ground level is a polluted village into which light cannot penetrate. As in the Dante’s nine circles of hell, urban life obeys a pyramidal structure where only a blind singer can still bring fragile hope in the lower confines of Takicardia. Organized both in Vermilion Sands’ space and in three different metro stations, The King and the Mockingbird manipulates notions such as control and wonder, fantasy and propaganda.




Cali Thornhill DeWitt

Cali Thornhill DeWitt, Coming Soon, 2016
Installed at Frederiksberg Metro Station Courtesy, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen


Goodiepal, Mechanical Bird, 2002-2016
Courtesy the artist and The National Gallery of Denmark

Hampus Lindwall

Hampus Lindwall, 4 compositions, 2016

Henrik Plenge Jakobsen

Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Laughing Gas House for Children, 1998

Ingo Niermann

Ingo Niermann, Army of Love, 2016
Installed at Islands Brygge Metro Station

Kasper Bosmans

Kasper Bosmans, Hermès in Exile (High), 2016
Courtesy Marc Foxx, Los Angeles

Liu Shiyuan

Liu Shiyuan, Untitled, 2016
Installed at Nørreport Metro Station
Courtesy Andersen’s Contemporary, Copenhagen

Louisa Gagliardi 1

Louisa Gagliardi, On a day like this, 2016

Louisa Gagliardi 2

Louisa Gagliardi, On a day like this, 2016

Sophia Al Maria

Sophia Al Maria, Between Distant Bodies, 2013

Than Hussein Clark 1

Than Hussein Clark, Cancellation – Curtain Wall, 2016
Courtesy VI, VII, Oslo

Than Hussein Clark 2

Than Hussein Clark, Cancellation – Curtain Wall, 2016
Courtesy VI, VII, Oslo

Walt Disney

Walt Disney Studios, Pastoral Symphony from Fantasia, 1940