24 Mar – 6 May 2017
Van der Mieden Gallery
+32 (0)3-502 91 15
Exhibition: March 25 – May 6, 2017
For Adam Jeppesen there is no "either/or". Things simply are. For better or worse.
In recent years, Jeppesen has been exploring various materials and printing techniques, out of a desire to get even deeper into the process and break with the smooth surface of photography. This was seen in his last solo exhibition X at the Van der Mieden Gallery in 2014, where desolate landscapes were translated into a series of photogravures, in which the same motif slowly faded out through the series, in an continuous process towards the full or empty image.
In the current series, "The Pond", the artist has moved completely away from the landscape and has turned his attention to ourselves, which has resulted in a study of hands transferred from negative to linen through the use of cyanotype.
The textile has now replaced the paper, and the images lie more in the direction of painting and the connotations that we associate to painting – not only because of the obvious association of the textile with the canvas and its resulting materiality, but also because of the immediacy of the pieces. In Jeppesen’s works, a movement has long been apparent away from the sober, documentary gaze of photography towards something more allusive or suggestive. We now see a sensibility and tenderness, without distance, that speaks directly to our emotions.
At the same time, there is once again an inherent tension between the way that the imprint reveals the technique, and the imprint as a trace – or perhaps even a kind of mythological evidence: There is something dreamy and puzzling about these pieces – reminiscent of legends like the Shroud of Turin. As in sculptures from antiquity or the Renaissance, the hands in "The Pond" are depicted slightly larger than reality, so that we can better sense the presence and the strength they leave in the imprint.
The blue colour of the cyanotype, together with the series title, "The Pond", underlines the perception that these hands lie beneath the surface. That they are floating in water, in a weightless condition; an apparently gloomy, disturbing image. Hands that are sometimes hard to perceive as such on the basis of our general world of experience. At the same time, however, they also exude an atmosphere of something peaceful, almost conciliatory: The beauty that arises when something has taken place, and we are now heading into another state. This duality is reflected in the water, which is both life-giving and lethal. Cleansing and corrosive. Constructive and destructive. As the hands hover there with no connection to the rest of the body, we understand that everything is a process; a process in which something is built up in order to be broken down again, and thereby enter into a new state. Perhaps it is the artist’s way of telling us that we have to dare, without judgement, to look at everything that lies beneath the surface. Which is not necessarily only dark, but just not recognised or understood. That which simply is. (Text by Bolette Skibild, MA in Cultural Studies)