Andreas Olesen

Example from ‘Estate’
Andreas Olesen exhibited his project Estate at Copenhagen Photo Festival 2016.
Andreas Olesen exhibited his project Estate at Copenhagen Photo Festival 2016.

Andreas Olesen (b. 1981 San Francisco) was chosen from an open call for a solo exhibit at Copenhagen Photo Festival with ‘Estate’. He was educated at ‘The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’ and received grants from ‘LensCulture Emerging Talent’, ‘Production of works Grant, Danish arts Council’ and ‘Danish Arts Council Intercultural Mentor Program’.

‘Estate’ is a photographic series while also being an exercise in the photographic process itself. Andreas Olesen came into possession of a series of negatives which appeared to be a Danish family on holiday at some point around WWII. While he was on holiday in northern Italy, Olesen put the negatives to use, as he attempted to bring the past and present together in a single image.

By shooting the negatives on slide film and then enlarging this positive in the darkroom, the resulting picture is in negative of real life. The sky becoming dark, shadows becoming highlights, creating a somewhat classical aesthetic. But the negative in the image is also reversed, resulting in a positive image. showing the present as reversed and in a way nullified,  the past returns to the forefront, becoming the focus. There is zero digital manipulation of the images. 

‘Estate’ won the LensCulture Emerging Talent Award in 2014 and has been previously been exhibited at Athens Photo Festival.  It was the first time ‘Estate’ was exhibited in Scandinavia. 

Olesen believes the traditional understandings of what constitutes a photograph are losing definition. The goal is to blend historical and contemporary ideas of what photography means to us to create new meaning. He works primarily with analogue photography, cultural artifacts, historical images and photographic technology. 

Olesen is now working on ‘Oblique’ a limited edition of landscape photographs. Oblique is a limited edition of landscape photographs. They are photographed with a skewed focal plane, creating a slash of focus through the image. He thinks of them as an edge, not as a flat field. Each image in the series is produced 9 times, each time different than the last. The source material is sucked into the edition and often destroyed during the process, leaving them unusable in the usual sense, with only the impressions made underway left behind.

Since the festival Olesen has had a solo show at ‘Buddenbrooks Gallery’ with ‘Apparition of a distance’ as well as showing Estate again at Villa Kultur. Also being involved in several group shows such as at ‘Buddenbrooks Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark’ and ‘Reclaim Photo Festival, Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, UK’.

‘Oblique’ – New Work