Text: Jeroen Smeets

How did the Comic Citrone festival start and what is the idea behind it?

Back in 2013 I was following the making of the fantastic documentary “Sign Painters” and when the movie was nearly done realized that it would never be screened in Denmark. Since this was before video-on-demand was a common thing,  the only thing to do was to do something about it myself! This was the starting point for my culture bureau Visual Tuba. We imported the “Sign Painters” documentary, got some good press and it ran every day for two months in Vester Vov Vov. Comic Citrone came out of this same urge to bring good and interesting things to Copenhagen, and is based around the things Visual Tuba normally works with. Strong visual art, documentaries, humor, socially relevant, inspiring and interesting content.

What is your role in the festival? 

Everything from events, concepts, content curation and to transporting the ice for your drinks all the way up in the tower, Visual Tuba is still a one-man operation. This being said no man stands alone and a lot of people are involved in Comic Citrone! Rundetaarn with their fantastic positivity and openness towards the project, B14 killed it with the visual identity, Aju put it online. And of course all participating artist made an effort to make it happen!

You’re bringing together a range of styles, from comics to typography. What is the unifying factor between all the different artists?

I’m not sure there is one. The styles and genres are quite varied, and the exhibition should probably be seen more as a collage of contemporary art. And this is intentional, to make a really tight concept within an exhibition is cool, but I think this is also really interesting, to mix people up.  By mixing the artists, our guests visiting the exhibition will also be mixed. You might come by to see the beautiful letter work from Copenhagen Signs, but end up going away being amazed by the humorous socially relevant works of Brecht Vandenbroucke. The events we are putting on are also varied and I hope by this mix we will have different professions and environments involved so we all can draw knowledge and experience from each other. If you come by Comic Citrone to check out something you know, but also find something new our mission has succeeded.

The exhibition is taking place in the Rundetaarn. An amazing venue for the exhibition. How did you manage to get into this place?

“Bibliotekssalen”, the exhibition space in Rundetaarn, is a really beautiful place. It’s a massive room with wooden floors and lots of natural light, already this makes it a great place for displaying the artworks and for the events.

The fact that the entrance fee is at the very democratic price of 25,- for adults and 5,- for kids is also in the spirit of Comic Citrone, where the aim was all along to have very fair ticket prices for events. Rundetaarn besides their concerts, good view of Copenhagen and other projects have a vision for the future to display even more contemporary art than they already do now. They took a liking to the Comic Citrone project, our two concepts clicked and we made it happen.

The fact that the tower itself is a big attraction for both tourist and locals, is in my opinion a huge added bonus, there is a crazy amount of visitors, a big mixed group from different walks of life, nationalities, age groups etc. so many and varied that it would almost consider the exhibition a piece of public art.

What else can we expect of the art festival? There are events throughout the entire duration of the festival, right?

Yes!

We have a talks by iconic sign painter Mike Meyer and participating artist Eike König. We have  two movie screenings “The Great Museum” and “Kortfilm & Cocktails” the last will be an experiment in serving drinks during the screening, which will be fun.

We also have two sign painting workshops, a free one for kids with Copenhagen Signs and the Mike Meyer four day hand lettering workshop for adults, created by the creative force within sign painting “Better Letters”. We have live drawing session, with Jakob Tolstrup & Thomas Pållson. And much more, visit the Comic Citrone website to see the full info on all events.

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