All alone from the north pole to the Antarctic in 487 days – a journey in total solitude. Beyond the traditional experience of space and time. Always with the camera in tow to document the rugged landscapes and vast expanses. The photos serve as a confirmation for certain moments that nevertheless appear as the enigmatic presentation of a distorted reality. Did I really experience it like that? And how can I convey this existential experience? In the current series, Adam Jeppesen reconstructs his adventures less with the content of the photos themselves and more with their presentation.
The surfaces of the negatives acquired scratches, spots and dust deposits during the trip – concrete traces of the expedition. Traces that Adam Jeppesen consciously maintained and continued to develop. By using different processes, he’s able to free the photograph from its typical two-dimensionality. In this way, he carved up the XCopy series into manageable formats, copied them and finally stitched them back together to recreate the original motif. The segmenting and reassembling of imperfect elements expands his prints by adding a performative, sculptural aspect – photography is more of an object in this instance than of a mere copy. In the Folded series by contrast, he periodically folds the landscape motifs printed on rice paper. In this way, a delicate network of DIN A4 pages forms large sequences with the images – a tenuous framework on which barely visible lines allow the viewer to orient himself. Instead of through the width of the photographic surface, the image manifests its detailed elements through depth. In the Ghosts series, Adam Jeppesen also experiments with the printing processes of the photographic medium. It was at that point that he changed the photogravure technique so that the printing block was not coated with ink for each printing but rather just once – allowing the scenes to then fade away page by page like a specter. Until in the end, only the white surface remains and the decision of which image is the “perfect” one is consciously left to the viewer. Yet in Scatter, he breaks down the overall context of the images and photographic surface into individual parts and blurred pixels. In contrast to his previous series, he doesn’t reassemble them but rather leaves them in their atomized form – the eye must find its own way through abstraction and concrete detail. A visual journey that questions familiar photographic forms of appearance and perception in a light-hearted manner.
For these arrangements, Adam Jeppesen is interested in the aesthetic value of the imperfect elements, the search for balance between purity, perfection and the damaged portion therein – the physical vestiges and imprints, which are so easily left behind and so seldom examined. The studio is an equally important part of this process as the journey itself. Because the subsequent artistic interventions into printing processes, material and type of presentation make the photographs into objects of art that cannot be considered to be isolated from this special processing method. Photography as a physical process – the reproducible medium becomes an artistic object and something unique.
C/O Berlin is presenting the first comprehensive Adam Jeppesen exhibition in Germany. The exhibition consists of around 80 different works from the “Folded”, “XCopy”, “Scatter” and “Ghosts” series. Curated by Ann-Christin Bertrand.
Adam Jeppesen, born in 1978 in Kalundborg, Denmark, first gained international recognition with his “Wake” series, which was published in 2008 by Steidl in book format. In 2009, Jeppesen was nominated for both the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize and the KLM Paul Huf Award. His work has been exhibited worldwide and is present in the collection at the Denver Art Museum (USA), the Danish Arts Foundation, the National Public Art Council in Sweden, the National Museum of Photography in Denmark, as well as in numerous private collections. Adam Jeppesen lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
C/O Berlin is creating a completely new format for Berlin and consciously focusing on the current trends of contemporary photography through the Thinking about Photography exhibition series. Photography has always been a medium influenced heavily by technological developments, which has resulted in constant evolution and change over the course of the photographic medium’s relatively short history. With digitization, it again finds itself in the midst of transition and the impacts and consequences of which are slowly becoming visible. As such, the change is becoming the object of more intense discussion among international circles of experts and artists. Up to three times a year, “Thinking about Photography” will offer the chance to reflect on new tendencies and artistic developments within the photographic medium. New forms of production, perception and presentation will play a central role in observing the future of the medium.