Photo collage on paper
Dimensions: 250cm (H) x 150cm (W) / 98.4" (H) x 59.1" (W)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
The series Paper Planes originate from the idea of hand folded paper planes as a metaphor for movements in space. The series examines the fundamental principles behind light exposure and spatial dimensions. Paper Planes l - Vl consist of a series of photographs, created by folding light sensitive paper into basic shapes of paper planes, which is then exposed to a source of light. On a large sheet of black paper, the small photographs, -all folded identically and exposed to the same amount of light, are neatly arranged into large patterns mirroring the patterns of light on the small paper planes. The piece highlights the multiple variables that light exposure entails, and the works hereby unfolds the ungraspable aspect of lights eternal, abstract and ambiguous nature. Each photograph differs from the next and light appears from all angles, giving a certain rhythmic reading for the eye and mind. The piece operates on two aligned mental levels, where you as a viewer both question the process of photography and your own subjective way of perceiving visual information.
This position between our visual perception and reality is a reoccurring theme in the works of Laila Svensgaard, where the small experiments are like magical activities that pull our understanding of image making into new dimensions. Culturally we understand the photographic as a system of information and classification, ranging from sequences pasted into family albums, to photographs used in weather forecasting, astronomy, microbiology, geology, police work, medical work or used for military reconnaissance, yet Svensgaard investigation of the photograph is opening up the aspects of photography’s material that we never see at all, exposing all indeterminable elements embedded in the perception of the photographic. The rational aspect of photography is turned into a magic science, investigating how we perceive through our sight and how truth can be undermined in experimentation, opening up new intellectual and philosophical thinking.
Based in: Copenhagen, Denmark
Laila Svensgaard was born in 1974 in Tim, Denmark and studied painting at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London between 1995 to 1998 and an MFA in Critical Studies at Malmo Art Academy, Sweden between 2013 to 2015. She lived in London, UK from 1998 to 2010 and currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Svensgaard’s practice extends across photography, drawing , printmaking, sound, installations and independent artists books publishing.
Her works are on a fundamental level investigating registration in the photographic process, yet her artistic experiments are often rooted in the irrational aspects of the conditions for light, movements and materials. A working method more similar to a painter’s request, rather than the indexical truth ridden properties connected to the photograph as documentation.
In recent years Svensgaard has mainly been focusing on creating ‘cameraless’ photographs, which materialize through a curious medium of experimentation. The images are created through the use of a simple light source exposure and light sensitive photographic paper that preserves and traces the imprint as a negative image. Often her approaches takes a starting point peculiar small experiments, such as developing ‘Pocket Photos’ by asking people to carry light sensitive paper in their pocket, creating a small active camera inside the trousers, that records light, movements and the pocket fabric's patterns, resulting in an abstract composition. Or by registering the movement of the moon, by installing a self-made pinhole camera on a rooftop to capture beautiful drawings of light, made by cosmic movements.
Through a philosophical investigation of photographic materiality, Svensgaard creates a small photographic universe, conditioned by phenomenological questions. In Svensgaard's artistic work the photographic image is not necessarily statements about the world, but represents itself as a small piece of our world's reality. Her photographic works draw us into a poetic universe of dust, cracks, light, shadows and darkness to explore aesthetic meditative dimensions of the photographic process.
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