My sense of belonging connects to moments of recognition – when the ordinary object is called into existence by light. It is when you walk into a familiar room and suddenly see that the light falling through the window is bright blue, or that the reflection of the red building across colors the entire room pink. It is like seeing the world afresh, a confirmation of life as a human in a fraction of a moment, when some extraordinary scenery unfolds, just to quickly vanish again. In this sense, the core of my work is an appreciation of what is ‘right here’, without ceremony, equally available to every human.
Collage is something that has followed me for a very long time. I used to do quite crude collages in architecture school to get a sense of a place, but I never thought of mixing collages with my photographic work before one day I was sitting and staring at a pile of 200 testprints size 4”x6″ — most of them images that were not as successful as I wanted them to be. There were perhaps 10 worth keeping – I took my NT-cutter and started to cut them up and piece them together again. And it was like a whole new world opened up to me. Suddenly I could “photograph” spaces that didn’t exist.
That is also why I don’t see myself as an actual photographer in traditional sense; I model pictorial space with light and space through my interiors. A photographer who looked at some of my images once said that I was painting with light. It made me wonder if there is a good name for what I do — ‘artist’ might work, but it also have such a pompous cling to it.
Right now I am mostly focused on my collages, but I also found that creating collages affects the way I photograph; if I am not careful, the images become more like spare parts and not actually well-composed photographs, so I had to go back and focus on photography. I’m also working with diptychs — the simplest of collages. It is fascinating how they work as a whole and the individual images reveal an altogether new expression. And I’m always looking for the mixture between the sharp geometric shapes and more landscape-like structures, the deep and the shallow pictorial space.
My process with the collages are quite on the long side, and in 3 different stages:
I use a fixed 50mm lens (on my camera it becomes around 65mm). Sometimes I use my phone; the lens is different and sometimes that works better — it’s more crude.
THE DIGITAL PHASE:
EDIT: Then comes the traditional process of editing the work before I can start to work on them. But all this is very important, until now the photograph must work as it is. I never change the actually composition of an image at this stage.
I am very much driven by colors, they are extremely important to me. Most of my pictures are white-ish to begin with and then I start adjusting the colors until I get something I like. I am very particular about which colors goes together, and as a general rule I don’t like green – but it changes, some of my first photographs was only blue and yellow, and some of them I haven’t even adjusted, but now I tend to go for warmer, darker colors.
THE ANALOGUE PHASE:
Yes, glue, paper, tape, NT-cutter and so on. I print them and look at them for a while. Then someday when I know where to go, I start making a collage, cut them up and piece them together again. After having made some collages the whole editing proces starts over and when I know which ones will work – I print even larger images and construct the collage in a decent size. And then fast as lightning, before I forget how i did it, I make a digital version as well. It’s not the same when photographing them afterwards – the colors get distorted.
Having studied both architecture and later art photography, the hardest part was actually to break free of the schooling from architecture school and the very specific aesthetics one learn there – just something as bold as tilting the camera slightly is not ok in architecture photography – my teachers in San Francisco taught Photography through painting, and emphasized photography as art and not as a mere technical discipline. We used to joke that we needed “tech-talks” to focus on the boring parts like shutter speed and ISO – but for many people that IS photography, my school was all about plasticity, and pictorial space.
Copenhagen based artist who holds a Masters degree in Architecture from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen + ETH-Zürich. She also studied Photography at The San Francisco Studio School of painting, drawing, photography and mixed media from 2013-2015.
She works both as an architect in Copenhagen, and is an assistant professor at The Royal Academy, teaching at Institute of Architecture and Design.
Her photographic work was first shown at a solo exhibition in January 2015 at KASB (KADK).
Website: “III – photography”