Copenhagen-based photographer Adam Jeppesen’s work challenges the boundaries between documentary and fiction. He is seen as one of the greatest talents in contemporary Danish photography, and we discovered his work during the last Unseen Photo Fair, after which Jeppesen’s work by far resonated the most. His photographs inhabit a blurred territory where the real and the fictional become interchangeable. Even if the Danish artist seems to remain faithful to what is in front of his camera, he doesn’t seem to be too concerned about objectivity. The highly impressive work we saw at Unseen was part of the The Flatlands Camp Project. A series of work, recorded on a journey from the Arctic through North and South America to Antarctica. For 487 days Jeppesen travelled in solitude and from this long journey a series of melancholic, evocative landscape pictures have emerged.
Detailed documentary expression combined with a melancholic aesthetic is a constant in Jeppesen‘s work. The Flatlands Camp in this line, communicates a very dark and ambiguous sentiment which is exemplified by the artist’s experiments with unconventional techniques in the printing process.
Some images are even scratched by grit, somewhere during Jeppesen’s journey, almost adding an extra layer to the prints. Most photographers would discard pictures with flaws like that, but instead Jeppesen used the flaws in a aesthetic manner, creating an intense atmosphere within his work, haunting its spectator.
The Flatlands Camp Project is much more than a mere group of documentary images about a trip. After printing Jeppesen adds the last layer to his work by deconstructing the image into different pieces and subsequently assembling them back together with pins. This last dimension to his art makes that his work reaches out from the boundaries of photography and makes an incursion into the realm of sculpture or even performance. His photographs become an highly fascinating artistic object that can’t be isolated from the way the artist produces them, constructs them and displays them.
The 35-year old Adam Jeppesen is a graduate of the Fatamorgana photography art school in Copenhagen. He has travelled extensively for documentary film work in regions such as Palestine, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and continues to work on projects with a political and humanistic focus. He has previously exhibited in Europe and North America. Recent exhibitions include Foto, at the Scandinavia House in New York, and Tilykke Lille Fugl, at Fleisher Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia.