Louisiana Channel is an online platform based at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark. The website is filled with arts and culture videos – including short documentaries and interviews with leading names. Aesthetica selects five clips to watch, each featuring contemporary lens-based artists.
Finnish photographer Elina Brotherus (b. 1972) tells the stories behind her key images. The self-portraits explore relationships between object and subject, gaze, artist and model – they are a “game of hide and seek.” Each snapshot walks a tightrope between the personal and subjective, with Brotherus’ faceless figure stepping out into expansive landscapes.
Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948) delves into his earliest memory, which is a seascape. The motif appears across his oeuvre – in calm compositions split between sea and sky. Sugimoto argues that ocean scenes are the only ones we still share with ancient cultures. “When you look up at outer space there’s the Moon and the stars,” he says. “But on the surface of the Earth, the farthest place people can see is a sea horizon.”
Athi-Patra Ruga (b. 1984) is a South African artist working at the borderlines between fashion, performance and contemporary art. His performances position the body in relation to structure, ideology and politics. “Somehow resistance is what validates an identity,” Ruga notes. “Growing up gay, black and non-Christian, it kind of is something I love playing with.” In this discussion, he explores the project Azania.
“I always say that if anyone is going to overthrow the current government, it’s the Iranian women.” Shirin Neshat (b. 1957) was born in Iran but has spent much of her life in exile in the US. Her lens-based works explore themes of displacement, oppression, gender and identity. In this extended interview, Neshat speaks about contemporary Iran, experiences as a woman and a duality of identities.
Teju Cole’s (b. 1975) series ‘Blind Spot’ is a compilation of text and images that reflects on how we look at the world. It was the result of a period of semi-blindness – when Cole woke up unable to see out of one eye. The series is, as the photographer explains: “about the limitations of vision… when we’re looking at the world, there’s so much that we’re missing.” This video sheds light on the work.
Lead image: Elina Brotherus, Der Wanderer, 2003.
1. ©Theaters by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Paramount Theater, Newark, 2015.
2. Athi-Patra Ruga: Night of the Long Knives I, 2013 © Athi-Patra Ruga and WHATIFTHEWORLD
3. Shirin Neshat Soliloquy Series, 1999. Silver Gelatin print
4. Teju Cole: Rivaz, October 2014.
Posted on 11 May 2020