A woman is sitting in profile with her head covered by a strude mask

Photo: Trine Søndergaard

WORKS by Trine Søndergaard

The landscape and reflections of memory, silent inner spaces and women's experiences throughout history. The photographs in Trine Søndergaard's exhibition WORKS let us see the invisible.

The special exhibition WORKS is curated in collaboration with Trine Søndergaard herself and shows how Trine Søndergaard over the last 16 years has explored the possibilities of depicting the invisible. A key theme in Søndergaard's work is precisely sight and gaze. She works particularly with portrait as a genre, but her purpose is not to present us with the truth about an individual. On the other hand, she asks insistent questions about how the depiction of a person's exterior can both convey and at the same time hide an inner life.

Questions like these intertwine with Søndergaard's interest in women's historical costumes, which often appear in her pictures. The traditional costumes have had a specific work or social function. They were to shield the woman from wind and weather, or signal her condition to the outside world. In Søndergaard's portraits, the photographed women always turn their eyes away, and the eye contact that we as the audience cannot make with the subject becomes a mantra to look closer.

The mundane and the ceremonious

The starting point for Trine Søndergaard is the documentary and factual photography. However, her use of reduction and repetition brings the work closer to conceptual photography, and the dialogue with art history is always present in her works. The mundane and the ceremonious are given equal space, and the undercurrents of melancholy, loss, as well as the image as a state beyond the linguistic characterise her entire production. As Søndergaard says: "With my camera, I listen to reality".

The majority of Trine Søndergaard's works are created in the closed universe of the photo studio, where the artist is both a photographer and a director. At the same time, the image is created in the meeting between two people, namely the photographer and her model. In this way, the work emerges in a playful spirit, perfectly balanced between precision and spontaneity, between the planned and the random. The result is a concentrated image poetry that challenges the photographic medium as a recording practice.

International impact

The exhibition WORKS shows photographic works from the period 2005-2021. The exhibition is produced in collaboration with the Gothenburg Art Museum.

Trine Søndergaard (born 1972 in Denmark, lives and works in Copenhagen) is one of the Nordic region's most important artists, and one of the few Danish photographers who has made an international impact. She made her debut in the 1990s and has since experienced steadily growing interest. Søndergaard has received the prestigious August Renger Patzsch Award, published award-winning books and has exhibited at home and abroad. Her work is represented in a number of international collections, including J. Paul Getty Museum in the United States. Royal Danish Library owns a large number of her works in the National Museum of Photography.

The exhibition is supported by the Obel Family Foundation, Statens Kunstfond, the Politiken Foundation and the Consul George Jorck's and Wife Emma Jorck's Foundation.

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