This November Akershus Kunstsenter are showing three artists whose work is based on different camera-based expressions. Objektiv asked artist Christina Leithe H. to tell us about her exhibition Landscape.Albums., an installation consisting of several large folders containing photographs that both individually and collectively convey a little story or moment.
In the exhibition it is up to the viewer to look at the different works, to open the different folders and look through them. Please tell us more about your process towards this installation?
For the past years I have been interested in the collector. My first work where I used folders or albums was collection in black n white (2012), where all the photographs I had taken for a period of one year were presented in three albums. In this work I wanted to reveal and investigate a depressive and melancholy state of mind, a state of mind I was in at the time I took the photographs. One of the methods in this process was to gather and organize the photographic material which led to working with albums and folders. By presenting my photographs in folders the photographs keep their intimacy, and at the same time they open up for a more private and direct communication with the viewer. In Landscape.Albums, I present the folders on tables, thus inviting people to open them, like a generous gesture. At the same time, the folders are dark so maybe some won’t find them inviting at all.
You work with both still and moving images, using the documentary tradition as a starting point for a fictional narrative?
I often use personal relations as a starting point for a thematic interest. I photograph a lot, gathering material, looking at what works, and then I narrow it down throughout the process until I reach the situations and motifs that represents what I want to talk about. My videos often evolve from my photographic work, used as a comment to my own working process.
You work mainly with analogue photography; can you tell us about your relationship with this medium?
Working with an analogue process in the darkroom is a way to make really unique prints. My way of working towards the perfect print has nothing to do with seeking the right grey-scale; it has more to do with finding the visual strength and purpose in the motif. I often treat my photos as documentaries which, when combined with the fiction they contain, result in a working process that inspires me to investigate the medium further.
In the photographs, you show us the world in black and white. This is also the case in your book Notes that was launched last year. How was the process working with the book, compared to this show?
The photographs presented in Notes are a selection from my work collection in black n white. Making a book, presenting only 29 out of 257 photographs, gave me an opportunity to use the archive as a working method, and thus making room for a slightly more narrative story with a personal storyteller.
The process with Landscape.Albums was very different, and I have lately been discussing with colleagues whether one folder could be turned into a book. I’m not sure it is possible, because one of the strength of the work in the exhibition is how the viewer physically move between different places and time when moving from folder to folder.
Christina Leithe H., Margarida Paiva and Clement Page can be seen at Akershus Kunstsenter from Nov 7. until Dec 7. 2014 The exhibitions are curated by Rikke Komissar and Tor Arne Samuelsen.