As the need for ‘the Other’ – religious, sexual, national, political – rises in a global climate of increasing fear, my work reflects a rising need to question the role of lens-based media and imagery in generating exclusion and stigmatization. My work is generated by encounters, encounters with new places, new people and – increasingly– a new political reality.
My most recent work, HOPE & FEAR is a large-scale,
three-channel video projection in public space where people on the streets of
Beijing, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Copenhagen, Dar Es Salaam, New York and Ulan
Bator form a global choir of voices in answer to the questions ‘What’s your biggest
hope?’ and ‘What’s your biggest fear?’ in an appeal to global solidarity and
The work represents a thematic
continuation of earlier projects. The series JUMP is equally full of global
encounters, but deliberately elides identifiable geographical signifiers so the
viewer never knows if they are in Brooklyn, Bahrain or Burkina Faso. Encounters
en route form the core of HEROES, where I set up as a traveling photographer in
different places in the city of Roskilde. The resulting 1,000 Polaroid portraits
personally signed by each person I met form a mosaic mural of the everyday
heroes who continue to cross my path.
The role of itinerant
photographer was exchanged for that of explorer in NATIVES: THE DANES, marking
the move from my own personal photographic encounter to an ever-increasing
awareness of the role of photography as a historically and politically loaded
medium. It is this power of the image that projects like ‘NATIVES: THE DANES
and ‘WHO’S NEXT?’ address: the role of photography in framing and creating
prejudices and minorities, and as an instrument of control in categorizing,
recording and archiving ‘the Other.’ From the colonial images of ‘natives’
photographed from the front and the back on expeditions throughout contemporary
Denmark, to mugshots of members of the LBTQ community shot in a police station
basement in WHO’S NEXT?
This drive to interrogate the history and role of lens-based media in generating fear and stereotypes has, in recent years, also led to an increasing number of projects in public space, with participatory projects like TO TINGBJERG WITH LOVE, the neon harbour installation TIME FOR TRUST, and in 2016 the international launch of the large-scale, public video work HOPE & FEAR in Copenhagen.
|(printed from www.charlottehaslund.com)|