Up to the opening of the Schools of Visual Arts’ graduation exhibition Afgang 2016 two scaffolders constructed a large scaffold around the entrance of Kunsthal Charlottenborg. The construction dominated the entrance area during the exhibition period and made it possible for a conservator to restore the balcony above the Kunsthal Charlottenborg's main entrance. The timing was carefully planned so that the restauration would take place in the same period as the graduation exhibition - it was in fact part of the final year student Lucas Wichmann Melkane’s graduation piece.
A pivotal point in Melkane’s practice is questioning the work of art’s visual formation and appearance. How does the artist (physically) create a work, without being part of the design process himself? Thus, Melkane initiated, in his piece The Balcony, the restoration of Kunsthal Charlottenborg’s dilapidated balcony. This included obtaining relevant permits for the restoration of a listed building and in raising the necessary funds from foundations to hire a professional conservation firm for the project. Scaffolders and restaurateurs were the only ones in physical contact with the visible parts of Melkane’s piece and the scaffolding was, in stark contrast to the work's almost pretentious title of The Balcony, the essential visual expression of the project.
The scaffold was on one hand impossible to avoid physically and on the other so inconspicous that many did not notice it initially. As an art object The Balcony oscillated between the scaffold and the imagined balcony behind while simultaneously articulating the hallmark dynamic of any restoration; the relationship between the restored object as it looks presently and the ideal object, as one imagines it looked in an original, authentic form which thus serves as the image the restoration seeks to recapture.
After the restoration, it was once again possible for Charlottenborg’s visitors and staff to make use of the balcony, which had been closed for several years prior to Melkane’s project. The restoration was sponsored by Mads Nørgaard and CHART.