At The National Museum of Photography the Danish photographer, Joakim Eskilsen, invites us in to a whole new level of existence. A collection of hard reality in life – far away from what we could imagine.
“My interest in photography started when I was fourteen years old (…) before I started photographing, I used to collect all sorts of things: coins, labels, cow horns. I realized that the obsessions with photography is closely related to the collector’s mind” – With this opening these we understand Joakim has lot on his mind.
Eskilsen defines himself as a collector, and we can affirm he definitely is. He collect moments, personal stories and realities. Each of his photos tells us a unique story and he gives us a ride through the narrations of realities. His photos contains a social critical aspect even though it’s not his intention; but rather the realities in the lives of the people.
“I tried to live with the people for longer periods of time in order to get a better understanding of everything, and to be able to photograph more peacefully”.
He doesn’t want to capture a sad, miserable or cruel moment, and from that make “the anecdotal photography”. He doesn’t try to show us how miserable the world we live in is – he seeks the optimism and the most human and real part of his experiences.
“ I tried to collect photography’s of a world I can believe in, that gives me hope and moments of magic.”
Going through his exhibition, we cross his own career experience and photography trajectory as well. The exhibition shows seven different projects along his artistic work. The varieties of how these are displayed, the compositions, paintings and the most relevant point of the exhibition; “the books” cannot pass unnoticed for those who loves photography.
Seven works are displayed. Seven different stories that take place in seven different time periods that had been shot in seven different environments. He chooses the topic and the way he will show them. This exhibition is not a usual photography exhibition; we rarely can see framed photographs.
“Nordic Signs” (1989-1994),
“The Roma Journeys” (2000-2006),
“American Realities” (2011),
“Cuba” (in process) & “Home Works” (in process)
All these seven projects are the evolution, change and personal work as an artist. A brave regard into our world. Different narrations and different books; according to the curator Sarah Giersing, “the book” is the best way to make Eskilden’s work more visible to a larger audience.
We could say it is a democratic exhibition, and perfectly coherent between what he is saying and how is he saying it. That is something more than relevant now a days.
This exhibition is about “photography- process – book”. The spectator is not just admiring the final piece; you will be a part of the process. You will feel the story along the videos and the photo negatives. Suddenly it’s like being part of the creative process as part of choosing between the different photos he has taken alongside his trips.
We look forward to see more from Eskilden’s incredible work.