Over the past month, I have slowly but surely been getting acquainted with the city of Aarhus — whether it be my way around town, the best place to get a cheap beer or the best clothing shops, I think I'm faring well so far. But nothing will get you familiar with a city faster than an America's-Next-Top-Model-go-see-esque assignment adventure from Mads Greve at DMJX.
We all knew it was coming, and my entire photo class, both the Danish photo class and the Internationals, were wondering what would come of our assignment Friday. All we knew was that we had to report to school at 9 a.m. and that we had a deadline at 6 p.m.
Turns out, we had three assignments. Many of us were required to visit a particular museum to shoot children who were off on winter holiday. Then, we were assigned an artist or photographer and had a very strict time schedule during which we had 20 minutes to snap his or her portrait. And, along the way, we needed to get a creative and not-boring shot of public transportation for a hypothetical story about infrastructure. Phew.
I wasn't too overwhelmed by these prospects. I didn't often shoot three assignments in one day for The Maneater, but sometimes when I procrastinated, that would happen. But, I think I work well under pressure. I was more worried that I would not be able to find my bus stop, or worse, be late for something. Because I'm much more prone to incorrect map reading and keeping track of time.
Turns out, I had a right to be worried about getting lost and will be searching for a compass come this weekend. I was only ten minutes late for my 20 minute photo shoot though, so I frantically got a do-able portrait of a commercial photographer and hit the road.
I also shot at the Steno Museet (museum) in Aarhus, which turned out to be a blast. The museum is a science and medicine museum named after a Danish scientist, Nicolas Steno. I perused the museum upon arriving, very used to shooting children's events from my internship at The Sun News the prior summer, and found a gold mine — a room that translated to "impregnated by technology."
The room was off-the-walls ridiculous, at least by American standards. It featured the science of, well, reproduction. There was a huge womb kids could crawl into and explore, a carpeted egg on the floor with wiggling mechanic sperm hanging from the ceiling and a silhouetted closet where kids could try on fake tummies from different stages of pregnancy — all featured in a dark, comfy room where a baby's heartbeat, cries and rattle could be heard, in that order.
It was definitely a culture shock to me to see these children prancing around a room that featured an ancient condom dispenser and an artificial insemination interactive game, but I guess that's why I'm studying abroad, right? Only in Denmark, the country who first legalized porn.
Photographs copyright © Katie Currid 2011. All rights reserved.