Kristoffer Axén is one of the 50 best emerging photographers for 2015, as voted by the eight-member international jury for the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2015. Here is his winning entry and artist’s statement. View his profile to learn more about him and to see more of his great work.
“Events in Nature” explores figures that drift aimlessly in landscape. The images relate to that surreal facet of reality, that feeling that constantly shimmers in the periphery. Here reality takes on the aesthetics of the hyper-real, and that which is buried in our unconscious—fears, aversions and hopes—takes form in subtle, strange ways that progress from the invisible into the seen.
The work from “Events in Nature” are like stills from a film stripped of a definite narrative—where anonymous figures wander about with a meaningful meaninglessness. Something like the thick memory of a strange dream from two nights ago…that somehow seems more important and real than the everyday.
Here, an atmosphere of being deep under water prevails, without the wide-eyed panic of drowning. A world with strangers and grey buildings, peculiar but still undeniably recognized as our own reality. Where a sense of isolation and introspection is present, and where an event—perhaps a trauma—constantly lingers in the margin.
I take personal photographs—both the staged and the document—and bring them through a detailed post-production process where a tonality of thick shadows and selected highlights interweaves with an almost monochromatic color-palette. Furthermore, certain objects and, at times, complete backgrounds are removed or rearranged to create a space where the anonymous figures float in a world extracted from any specifics. Instead, a mood of hushed apprehension is depicted and investigated, where the tension of the unknown becomes the main character.