Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Galerie Dennis Cooper presents ... Asger Carlsen (guest-curated by Carolyn Fliest)
'Danish photographer Asger Carlsen began his career at 16 when he sold a photo he took of the police yelling at him and his friends for burning a picket fence to the local paper. For the next ten years Asger worked as a crime photographer before moving on to shooting ads for magazines. Then one day while messing around on his computer he created an image of a face with a bunch of eyes that led him to the distorted photographs he has become known for. His eerie and often humorous work makes you question what is human, and has been exhibited and published internationally.
'The images of Carlsen occupy the hazy cloud-cuckoo land between analog and digital photography. His pictures maintain an interesting haphazardness, a truth-before-the lens aesthetic, which is combined with eerie digital manipulations. The apparent on-camera flash and black and white tones further heighten the disconnect between the “real” and the fabricated. Carlsen often employs the visual cues of snapshot photography to suggest a physical, temporal connection between the photographer and the subject. His images depict a version of reality that is both firsthand and dissembling.
'Persons with prosthetic legs fresh from the wood-shop, or those who may be blessed with backward-bending knees are shown as ordinary as anyone else. One image, similar to William Eggleston’s photograph of a man touching delicately an orange United States Air Force craft, depicts a man kissing, groping a towering mound of otherworldly ectoplasm. Carlsen’s microcosm equalizes all disparate activity; lycanthropes and Janus-faced characters coolly inhabit scenes lit by the glare of the camera’s clinical flash. All of which suggests both the degree to which the camera normalizes and objectifies experience, as well as the reticence of viewers to accept as factual all forms of photographic vision. Carlsen grafts a truthful and authoritative aesthetic upon deliberately fanciful constructions.' -- collaged
Interview with Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen exhibition
Asger Carlson Website
AC portfolio & interview @ Whiteloup
AC interviewed @ Vice
AC portfolio & interview @ Empty Kingdom
AC @ we are CASEY Agency
AC's book 'Hester'
AC's book 'Wrong' @ Carlson Projects
AC @ Twitter
AC portfolio @ tinyvices
AC portfolio & interview @ Dazed Digital
'WE BET YOU’VE NEVER SEEN NUDES LIKE THIS!'
'Artists Asger Carlsen and Alex Prager Kibitz About their Corporeal Selves'
'Asger Carlsen: Skræmmende og manipulerende'
Downloadable mixtape by Asger Carlsen @ Sound Advice
I read in an interview that you were a crime scene photographer?
AC: People sometimes get that confused. I was a crime scene photographer, but that was when I was out of high school. So I was 17, and then did that for ten years.
Who did you work for? A police department?
AC: Newspapers. I was a full-on newspaper photographer. I started out as an intern, and saw how it was done. Then I bought a police scanner, and would respond to the calls. Car accidents and stuff. Eventually, I did photograph a bit for the police.
You’ll have to forgive me a bit here. My wife is a therapist, and my mother-in-law is a therapist, and now, being an interviewer, I’ve kind of morphed into this guy who tries to read the tea leaves. It sounds to me like there was a lot of darkness going on in your job, and in your head, and all of a sudden, it popped up out of the shadows, into this style that became yours.
AC: Certainly, there is an understanding of how those crime scene scenarios could look like. The work certainly represents my time as a newspaper photographer.
You can dig into that. You can see how I was standing in front of a car accident, photographing it. It’s just different objects.
I have some students, and we were looking at some work last week that was really super-digi. Over-saturated, hyper-real, hopped up, textured and degraded. I talked about that, and these are younger students, and they couldn’t see it. That archive that we have in our head, of the cinematic and celluloid look, they don’t have that baseline. Their baseline is digital reality.
They can’t tell the difference between the super-saturated color look on the screen, and what you see when you walk out your door. Their brains are just different now.
AC: They are different. Do you think they understand my work differently than you understand it?
Sure. I would think they have to. I showed “Wrong” to students last year, and they ate it up. Ate it up. I’m curious to see what happens when this generation of students, who has only grown up in the digi-verse, when they’re mature enough as artists to make shit that we can’t even imagine.
AC: I’m sure in ten or twenty years, the files being produced by these random Canon cameras, that’s going to be a style that people will try to copy again.
The sci-fi reference in your work are so strong, and I don’t even consider myself a sci-fi geek. What did you read or see that ended up percolating into your work.
AC: I was inspired by painters, different art movements and all these obvious classical references. There’s a certain awkwardness in the work, and maybe that’s my attempt to try to fit into a photography style. Part of the reason why I became a photographer is that there was a certain loneliness in it, a searching for something. I think the work is a bit about that as well.
Trying to find my spot. Maybe I am a dark person? (Thinks about it.) I am a dark person.
You certainly have it in there.
AC: I felt like an outsider when I grew up, for sure. There are certain things I’m good at, and photography is one of them. But I was not a success in school, not a success in many things, but there was this one thing I could do.
p.s. Hey. Today a silent, dedicated reader of this blog named Carolyn Fliest takes over and goes guest-curator in my galerie, and you get this very cool show by Danish photographer Asger Carlsen as a result, so enjoy, and thank you so very much for the intervention, Carolyn! Otherwise, Happy New Year! You guys awake and okay today? I think I'm feeling very slightly better this morning maybe. Let's see ... oh, the knockdown awesome writer, dancer, and much more Jack Dickson aka d.l. Jax wrote a radio play titled 'Rio', which he describes as 'a torrid tale of football and infidelity', and it's being broadcast on Radio Scotland on this very day at 11:30 am GMT. If you're awake at that time, you can listen to it live by clicking this. If you weren't awake at that time, you can listen to it anyway, so, if that's the case, click this. Anyway, I'm going to listen, and you should listen too 'cos it's sure to be pretty great. Oh, and this is nice for me: Last night there was a big on- and offline ceremony/ reading where the two big annual Alt Lit prizes, the Alt Lit Gossip Awards and the Beachies, were handed out, and I won a Beachy for 'Best Nice Guy', and since the Beachies are awarded by Beach Sloth, who seems like the nicest guy ever, that's pretty cool. So, thank you kindly, Beach Sloth, wherever you are. ** Misanthrope, Okay, bed, sensible. I had a quiet as usual night. Uh, watched TV, some old Hollywood movie about Toulouse Lautrec with Zsa Zsa Gabor in it that was dubbed into French and was obviously filmed on a set in Hollywood and didn't even have a single authentic Paris establishing shot in it even, and there was something enjoyably wrong and pomo about watching that, and that was pretty much my NYE. Hooray for your nephew! Yeah, this sickness is leaving so slowly and sluggishly, its weird, but I guess my health has its reasons. ** Jax, Hey! HNY! I'll be listening, probably live, assuming I finish this in time, and, otherwise, momentarily afterwards. Awesome, congrats! Banana bread, oh, I need. I haven't seen 'Moon', but I've also read good things. And it was ... ? ** David Ehrenstein, Thank you, sir. Well, please do tell Wilson that, thank you. Great that you're working on a new chapter of 'RBHP', and that it circles around O'Hara's typewriter is a most exciting development. ** Postitbreakup, HNY, Josh! Oh, no, my embargo is tolerable, no worries. I think NY in France is pretty much the same level of big deal that it is in the States. All the stores and everything are closed today, so that's how you judge bigness, I guess. ** Flit, Flit! You made a deliciously earlier than expected return! There is or at least may be a God perhaps. Thanks for talking back to the folks that were informed and excited because of you. You still there? How's today? ** 5STRINGS, There are definitely those who agree with you about English boys, so there must be a truth therein. I still think the French would probably win that prize for me if I were more okay with nationalist categories and less queazy about objectification and all that weird 'me' stuff. Okay, your NYE had a great sound and tasty PR and all that, so, whatever you did, it beat mine for sure. Nice! ** Creative Massacre, Hey, big M! Thanks a lot! The very same to you, pal! Bookstores in NYC: Okay, here are my recommendations, and locals will probably have more: St. Marks Bookshop. Housing Works. Mast Books. McNally Jackson. The Strand. Everyone, Creative Massacre is heading to NYC and is looking for good bookstores to visit while there. I just listed a few I know/like. Any other suggestions for her? Thanks! ** Unknown/Pascal, Hi! HNY! I'm better-ish, I would say. Dude, I was very prideful to have the Poetry Library here, natch. Brighton, nice, seemingly. Very awesome if the FW Day can happen, thank you kindly. HNY again! ** MANCY, Hi, M. Oh, I'll check them out today then if they're only there temporarily, cool. Gotcha on 'Blue Pill'. Did you go the party? I would've bailed and done the stay at home/fireworks thing, but that's me, and I'm sickish, so probably the party was the way to go, right? Did you go? Aw, thanks about my Metazen thing, man. ** Toniok, Hey and Happy New Year to you, Mr. K! Yeah, I think the slaves do get better, or maybe I get more discerning about the quality of the texts or something, or maybe word has gotten around in the slave world about my monthly selection thing, and they're starting to understand that their profile texts are an art form, and they're literally getting better at it, it's weird. 2013, yes! ** _Black_Acrylic, Greatest 2013 to you, Ben! What's Hogmanay? Hope you had the majorest blast last night, pal. ** Thomas Moronic, Hey, T! Obviously very, very good to see you! I know, the Chooseme text was a heartbreaker, no? I read your Fanzine list yesterday when I got lucky vis-a-vis my Facebook time and my news feed. Very cool and informative, man. Everyone, honorable and brilliant and longterm d.l. and writer Thomas Moronic did a Best of 2012 list for the great Fanzine site, and it's even more fun, well-written, and thought-provoking than the usual 2012 Top Ten list, and it has even got a cool name: 'Past Tense'. Read it, yeah. It's here. Hope you had a great night. Hope to get to see more often both here and in the real version. ** Cobaltfram, HYN! Okay, cool, I promise to accept your future avalanche of saintliness-derived gifts with grace. I like some of Anne Carson, yeah. Sometimes it's too clinical or something for me. I'm really looking forward to her sequel of 'Autobiography of Red' that's coming out this year. I hope your family shebang today passes with minimal prayer. ** Ken Baumann, Ken! I feel like I need to see the 48 frames thing. So far, every time I've read/heard something about it that's negative, I get 'stick in the mud' vibes from the opinion, so I want to know the personal truth about it, I guess. I might sit on the aisle though, just in case. Oh, no, my cinematic parade is so abstract at this point that any shit upon it just adds a kind of humanly, nice quality. Me too: I was in-house when the years changed. I was asleep actually. It was okay. No, I didn't catch your tap essay, awesome! I'll do that as soon as this is safely online. Everyone, the great Ken Baumann wrote a 'tap essay'. I just glanced at it, and it looks really exciting and mysterious. You should go read/look at it like I'm going to do, I think. You can, in Ken's words, 'click through it', here. And he says he 'was inspired to after reading/ tapping through/ digging FISH. You can download and read FISH here/on your iPhone. It's about a five minute read.' Follow Ken's leads. Always.. HNY, buddy! ** Sypha, I did see it, but I didn't actually click through and read it because I think I was just about to go make my dinner at the time. Iow, I'll go read that in just a few minutes. Yay! Everyone, here's Sypha with, in his words, 'a list of all the books I read during my five year reading experiment. It seems appropriate to mention it here, seeing this blog was one of the big inspirations for me branching out my reading tastes and becoming a better reader in general.' Thanks for the kind words, James. ** Will, Hi, Will, HNY! Maybe he did. That would explain why we both thought so. My faint memory is that I read that in The Wire? Whatever. Sir, I would love and be very honored if you want to do a post about Fernow, either re: Vatican Shadow or however you want to do that. That would be fantastic! Thank you for wanting to, no matter what. I hope your wife is feeling much better today. Major sympathy from a fellow if rising sufferer. ** Kiddiepunk, Mikey! You got 2013 way before we got it. I assume it's going okay there. It's going okay here. Quiet out, whoa. Light rain. No, wait, the rain stopped. Sort of sun. Nobody in the park. Decent temperature. Business class, sweet. Love of utter bigness back to you guys! ** Steevee, Thanks, Steevee, and a very happy new year to you too, my friend! ** Schlix, Hi, Uli! HNY! Me? Well, I watched that silly Toulouse Lautrec Hollywood movie I mentioned up above. Ate my usual veggie dog sandwiches and the second to last bite of Xmas buche. I worked on a blog post about Isabelle Huppert. Uh, I think that was it apart from some sickness-related coughing and stuff. Shiny day! ** A white fiction resumes its punctuality, Hi! Happy New Year! I vaguely remember that sentence of mine. Thank you. 2013 is going to be great for you, for me, maybe for everyone, I think. Love, me. ** Andrew, Hi. HYN again! And again! ** Slatted Light, Yes! The one and only you right here! So very sweet to see you, David! You good? Thank you, yeah, I thought those were some pretty good texts, but they only reached their full potential as your shards. Beautiful poem, sir. Very nice sniper-ish use of italics too. I hope your now fairly long past NY crossover moment was a lovely one, D., and take good care, and take a bunch of love. ** We are now safely inside 2013, and I hope you will spend some today wandering through the Asger Carlsen show, and, yeah, see you tomorrow.
Posted by Dennis Cooper at 12:05 AM