CARTE BLANCHE // 9 danske kunstnere på den Franske Ambassade
Saturday March 11th - April 1st 2017, The French Embassy in Copenhagen
Interview Choki Lindberg – Grand Salon and Please wait here
1) Your photograph depicts the actual space it is displayed in, but something dramatic has happened - can you describe the scenario?
It’s unclear what exactly has happened, but one might imagine that a good deal of time has passed. There has been a fire. Murky water has flooded the space, plants have crept through the windows and walls have crumbled. There is no human presence to tell the story. It is all up to our imagination..
2) The details in the photograph are hyper real, and at the same time it is a surreal scenario – could you explain how you create this effect?
I build everything in miniature and then I photograph it. So you look at a highly detailed photograph, which you believe in, but then there is this shift in scale and a clumsiness that the miniature gives the objects, which reveals that it’s not real. I hope people can sense this disruption, while also being seduced by it. Almost everything is handmade. From the carved legs of the chairs, to cling foil wrapped wire that appears as glass ornaments in the chandelier. It’s quite a labour intensive way of producing a photograph. I use original materials wherever possible, for example, to fill a miniature sofa, I have split an old couch to get the filling. This in itself is something I enjoy, and I think you sense it in the work. I also hope people will take the time to engage, and immerse them selves in the image. The simple fact that time and effort has gone into making it, counters the speed that images are often produced with these days – I like this slow and meticulous process.
3) You have burnt off a painting, flooded the room and blasted a wall – the memento mori is inescapable?
The desire to preserve and immortalize things can be obsessive. It’s human to want to leave a mark on this world, but its delusional. Nothing, however solid and impressive it may appear, is permanent. High or low we are all a part of the same cycle. We have become so used to seeing disasters hit those who have the least, but what about this kind of environment. Maybe at some point none of us are going to be here, and a new and better species will evolve – who knows.
4) Your other work is a piece entitled Please wait here – could you describe the character of the chair?
The embassy environment has an air of opulence and times long passed, that makes it difficult to relate to. Everything is beautiful but stagnant somehow. The chair is a kind of response to that.
The chair is in a state of extreme decay. At first glance it appears to be one of the chairs from the embassy, but on closer inspection, you will find subtle differences such as the shape, which is not quite right, and the upholstery which is not woven in the same pattern. The details give it away as an imposter, an outsider, leaving you to question its belonging and neglect.
Blackbird film 'a moment with..'
Interview on interior design blog Bungalow 5, May 2014
A photograph of a room. The light is delicate, the door is open. There are traces in the details, tiny fragments of a story. The moment lingers, questions form..
The photographs in the series 'Interiors' appear at first glance to be images of settings chosen for their aesthetic appeal. There is, however, something unsettling and surreal about each image that entices us to spend time looking closer at the detail of the work and, as we do so, its artifice begins to unravel. Details and textures suddenly appear warped, leading us to question other elements of the scene, and ultimately revealing the images to be intricate constructions; What we see are in fact meticulously crafted small-scale sets.
Chosen by Lindberg for their often highly personal content, these moments are re-constructed with careful attention to lighting, textures, colours and details - not as they were, but as she remembers them. We sense this privateness, and only little is revealed – leaving us to associate freely. As such, commenting on the subjective nature of perception and memory, and playing with the notions of photography’s (in)ability to represent reality.
“I am interested in how we perceive things. How the mind condenses things, or alters, stretches, omits and invents. The suggestive nature of photography has always been intriguing to me, the mystery of not knowing what went before, or what comes after, gives the story infinite different directions in which to go…
In 2004 I made a small scale replica of my apartment inside a cardboard moving box. I photographed it, and added myself to the image in post. The resulting photos where a bit naïve, and the model quite crude, but it triggered something joyous in me, and I became really fascinated by creating within this new ‘condensed reality’.
This developed into the medium I work with today, and though the models have become more elaborate and the themes of the series vary slightly, they all come from this starting point.”
Choki Lindberg (1979) is a graduate of Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam (2006) International Center of Photography, New York (1998-99) and Fatamorgana, Copenhagen (1998)