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28 Vignon Street

Adam Jeppesen

Denmark, 1978
Jeppesen explores various materials and printing techniques, out of a desire to get deep into the process of photography and break with its smooth surface.
In the series ‘The Pond’, the artist presents a study of hands transferred from negative to linen through the use of cyanotype. The textile has replaced the paper classically used in photography, 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 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, the viewer understands 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 recognized or understood. That which simply is.
Adam Jeppesen lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark & Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Extract from a text by Bolette Skibild, MA in Cultural Studies

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