BGE Contemporary Art is proud to present its first photography exhibition with Hedevig Anker. The exhibition «Skiftninger» (Shifts) opens on Wednesday 28. September and will stay on until 26. October. The exhibition shows a broad selection of Hedevig Ankers artworks. She has been photographing houses for more than 20 years – both private homes and public spaces. The importance of the spaces come from the stories they hold.
The exhibition introduces us to some of Anker’s earliest projects, like the photographs from Bjerkebæk– and Tanum Church. However, the main focus of the exhibition is her new works, like the brand new series «Forlatt hus» (Abandoned House). Anker’s photography allows us to get a close, intimate look at select details of houses, like window panes, framings and doors. The pictures vary in transparency, and are fleeting between abstraction and figuration: Their compositions are inverted, while having their starting point in something tangible and real. They are on the edge between depicting the real world and making their own autonomous reality within themselves.
The house is a place for protection, retreat, silence and concentration. It can also be a lonely place, where one is disconnected from community and fellowship, simply left to one's own. As such, the house represents both freedom and captivity. Anker highlights this duality of the house, made visible through different types of transitions; between the house and the world outside, the rooms inside, and how the changing weather, light and seasons make their impact on the house's facades.
The exhibition title refers to the main themes in Anker’s work, namely how change of perspective and gaze create varieties of visual expressions. Through the photos we move in the transitions between figuration and abstraction, between inside and outside, light and darkness, all depending on the perspective chosen for each picture.
One's choice of perspective shapes how one experiences reality. The first work we see in this exhibition, «Soloppgang» (Sunrise), demonstrates this. The image shows the view of a city where two versions of the same sunrise are weaved together as the result of double exposure photography. A slight shift in the camera’s perspective opens up for questions about what happens when one moves the gaze and changes perspectives. The image points towards the idea that new angles enable different versions of the same story.
For this exhibition specifically, Anker has produced the photo series «Forlatt hus» (Abandoned House). The images are all taken in a 1960s villa in Oslo, drawn by Per Cappelen. The villa’s architecture is exemplary of its time. The house is close to where Anker herself grew up, and she has been there since childhood. It represents an architectural ideal that is on the verge of extinction, where simple lines and a sober approach to natural materials are among the leading principles.
In terms of motif, Anker moves by the outer edges of the house, at the intersection between inside and outside. The sharp spring light creates contrast and change between an all-consuming darkness inside, and a burnt out light where the sun hits the surface of the facade. The photographs were taken while the house was emptied and vacated, and the sense of a final void behind the windows is prominent.
Hedevig Anker is educated as a visual artist from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and as an art historian from the University of Bergen. She has done multiple solo exhibitions in museums such as Lillehammer Art Museum and the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, as well as various galleries around the country, amongst them Kunstnerforbundet. She has participated in large scale group exhibitions like The Autumn Exhibition (The National Arts Exhibition), Østlandsutstillingen (Eastern Norway Exhibition) and the Norwegian Association of Fine Arts Photographers’ Spring Exhibition. She has published multiple books, latest in 2021 with the book «Lyset i Flatene - i arkivet etter Harriet Backer». Anker is also exhibiting at The Queen Sonja Art Stable (Oslo) as part of the exhibition «Open Doors».