Black Box Projects is delighted to present a survey show by Adam Jeppesen (b. 1978, Denmark) for the 2019 edition of Photo London. The exhibition will comprise works created over the last decade, mostly inspired by a staggering 487-day uninterrupted and unaccompanied journey Jeppesen took in 2009 from the North Pole to Antarctica. This journey, entitled The Flatland Camp Project, was to become the inspiration for multiple series of works going forward.
At first glance Jeppesen's practice appears to be that of travel documentary, yet it challenges the boundaries between documentary and fiction, as well as redefining the traditional applications of analogue photography where he experiments with unconventional techniques in the printing process. Black Box Projects will show a selection of work from the series XCopy (2011-2012), Parts (2011-2014), Folded (2014-present), Scatter (2014-2016), The Pond (2017-present) and Tanks (2017-present).
Jeppesen uses several techniques to create photographic pieces that are both sculptural and performative - editioned and unique.In XCopy and Parts the final compositions are created from an assembly of photocopies pinned together. This use of an alternative printing technique challenges photography and the idea of the multiple. Each work is assembled by hand, creating results that are similar but not necessarily the same, playing with the idea of photography-based works being truly unique.
In Folded, images are printed on rice paper before being folded, like a map. They are then flattened out, leaving behind the history and memory of the folds in the printed paper. This mathematical grid now covers the image - transforming it from two dimensions to three - in stark contrast to the rich organic mountain scenes and landscapes giving the feeling of a thought or a reminiscence, rather than an accurate description of place.
With Scatter,Jeppesen looks back over archival images from his journey, searching for imperfections that the negatives acquired during the expedition and celebrates these defects rather than disguising them. These images appear incompatible with the idea of documentary and travel photography or the factual recording of a place. The compositions are not of the topography, but rather the dust, scratches and flaws that the environment and journey physically took on the negatives and equipment. The images themselves no longer bear resemblance to the location, but become abstract, as if from another world.
Black Box Projects will also show work from Jeppesen's most recent photographic series The Pond (2017-present) and Tanks (2017-present). This is the first time Jeppesen has worked with a subject matter beyond landscape, now turning his gaze onto his own tool of creation - the artist's own hand - as well as being the first time he has worked with materials other than paper.
The Pond is a body of work depicting the artist's own hand, printed in cyanotype on linen. Ethereal in quality, the series is inspired by the decomposition process of the marshy ponds found in Denmark as well as being a comment on identity: self-identity as well as the collective identity of humankind. While Jeppesen worked more with his own personal experiences in The Flatland Camp Project, in The Pond he launches a new approach where a more universal concept of the beautiful and the imperfect in human existence takes centre stage. A floating hand, unattached to a body could be anyone's hand, anyone's identity and life, subject to a fate outside our control.
For the artist, the pond represents a process in nature that is completely unaffected by human beings: an unruly, wild environment that takes care of itself and will not be controlled.
In Tanks (2017 - present), Jeppesen transfers the idea of the pond and what lies beneath into the three-dimensional. Cyanotype-printed fabric is suspended in clear oil inside a glass tank. This delicate material is stretched and anchored by strings to create an abstracted form, a floating three-dimensional object. These works are alluring and melancholy in their solitude, harkening back to Jeppesen's earlier work with landscape photography. This series shows the beginning of Jeppesen's departure from photography, and his move into sculptural works.
Jeppesen was nominated for the prestigious Deutsche Börse Prize and the KLM Paul Huf Award in 2009, the Prix Pictet in 2016 and is considered one of the greatest talents in contemporary Danish photography. He has exhibited at several international institutions including Foam (Amsterdam), C/O Berlin (Germany), Denver Art Museum (USA), Brandts (Denmark) and The National Museum of Photography (Denmark) as well as having work in their permanent collections. Black Box Projects is the exclusive representative of Adam Jeppesen in the United Kingdom.