One, Two, Three, Four: Casper Sejersen

11 May - 15 June 2019 Gallery Exhibitions

Cob Gallery is proud to present One, Two, Three, Four, a debut exhibition and body of personal works from Danish photographer Casper Sejersen. 

 

Visually alluring and often deeply disquieting, Sejersen has become known for a transcendent photographic style marked by his often dreamlike placement and characterisation of figures and objects.  One, Two, Three, Four establishes Sejersen as an artist whose work is both engrossing and unsettling, balancing authority with fragility. 

 

Sejersen’s unique application of semiotics, and stage-like compositions are arranged as alternative ‘personal worlds’. Within these, Sejersen distills a potency of narrative that investigates psychology of the self, sexual politics, familial intimacy and childhood memory, all the while underpinned by a tension that explores the boundaries of personal freedom versus societal constraints.  

 

Within the highly personal collection of images featured in One, Two, Three, Four, Sejersen exposes a vulnerable Freudian excavation of autobiographical reflection.  Still lives arranged of pearls, cigarettes and florals are symbolic of early childhood interactions with his mother and grandmother and a sublime sunrise view from his hometown of his birth are contrasted with images that masterfully imbed a nuanced approach to disorder and control. Meanwhile, the exhibition also surveys Sejersen’s remarkable experiments in the art of representing aural sensations visually, creating idiosyncrasies that combine moments of strange tranquility with others soaked in visual noise. 

 

As its title suggests, One, Two, Three, Four takes its cues from rhythm and, in particular, the motif of drumming – an unconventional prompt that Sejersen makes expansive by permitting himself to roam freely along connected biographical and imaginative tangents - the former being an artist self portrait and this relationship with his father, both of them drummers.  Nine extreme close up images of varying drums skins greet you on entrance to the exhibition. Similarly a series of candle flames flutter and flicker to the sound waves of a drum beat.  

Sejersen’s works exhibit his near obsessive preoccupation with the coexistence of violence and structure within a drum beat‘s relationship to the phrase in which it sits.  Concurrent to this, the random and unpredictable marks of a drum are made symbiotic to images of accidental injury on the human skin - the thud of a body in a pavement accident, or a fall down the stairs, becomes interchangeable with the boom of a mallet on a bass drum. These beats, offbeats and snares, set the tone and permeate every work in the exhibit.

 

Drawing a lineage to the conceptual preoccupations of the Romantic movements, Sejersen harnesses intense emotion, placing emphasis on feelings such as apprehension and awe and experimenting with.  The Romantic movement reacted to socio-political upheaval in Europe when in the grip of revolutions and tumultuous events. As art alienated itself from Classicism the movement paralleled new shifts in political, social and military developments that departed from tradition. Like the Romanticists, it is arguable, that in the context of a contemporary social and political uncertainty, Sejersen’s works signify the emergence of a new brand of Romantic artist.

 

Through an unlikely pairing of objects and textures: ash covered foam, pearls and lemon soda as well as flowers suggestively protruding through the skin of a drum - Sejersen revels in visual language which celebrates juxtapositions of beautiful awkwardness and disconnected connection. Heightening a sense of fabrication and fact, beauty and decay Sejersen interrupts the sumptuous, hyper-detailed nonpareil of his tableaus with subtly jarring accents of imperfection - and of unease. 

 

Cultivating an intricate personal world of synaesthetic symbolism, Sejersen moves beyond dogmatic arguments between digital and analogue to employ a painterly approach to texture and form. The result is visually arresting work where ambiguity of process has the effect seducing us into a finely poised other-world where reality and reconstruction, memory and desire bleed into one another in unexpected ways.