A surprise encounter in Copenhagen

I have been in Copenhagen for the last week, a city of waterways, bicycles, cobbled streets and of course the delicious Danish pastry!!! Amongst the many highlights was a trip north of the city to ‘Louisiana’ http://www.louisiana.dk/dk a modern art museum in its own rural landscape overlooking the Oresund.

Apart from special exhibitions they have their own collection of artworks and it was odd to encounter here, of all unexpected places some of the works of photographer Francesca Woodman. I had only seen her works previously in books and the first thing that struck me was the smallness of the photos each set in a contrastingly large mount. Using her body as the main subject of her work she creates disturbing interior scenes. Her figure is frequently merged with and overwhelmed by the background. There is an odd uneasy contradiction between her concealment (a sort of self-effacement) and the apparent violence and ‘look at me’ tone of the image. This was underlined by the way the photo was framed, dominated by the large mount, pulling you in to peer closely and then be caught in her troubling world.

Sadly Woodman died when she was only 22 years old, what would she have gone on to produce in her later years, I can only surmise but am grateful for the haunting images that I encountered and inspired by her rawness.

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