Solo Artists

The six solo artists at Copenhagen Photo Festival are selected as this year’s headliners of our three focal points: Framing Identity, Framing Society and Framing Vision. They are our way of opening up windows to other worlds and serve the purpose of showcasing photography across genres, by focusing on the individual, society and art. 

Out of 642 projects, and thereof 12 shortlisted, the six chosen artists stand as the epitome of each category.

Find the solo exhibitions in the programme here

Framing Society

Framing Society

Alastair Philip Wiper

Pleasure Points is a journey exploring California’s pleasure product industry; sex doll workshops, family-run dildo factories and virtual reality porn sets. It shines light on the way people take control of their sex lives and sexual identitieschoosing where, how and when they get their sexual satisfaction. 

The series documents the diversity, but also the creativity and technology behind the products created. 

At the factory of Doc Johnson, 450 employees produce around 75,000 dildos, vibrators, masturbators, butt plugs and more every week. Produced with increasing connectivity, couples can control each others’ products remotely, allowing interaction over long distances. 

At the RealDoll workshop around 30 sex dolls are created per month. Each is completely customisablefrom hair, to lips, to nipples, to vagina (there are more than 10 types), some have robotic heads and can interact with their owner. ” … a lot of people are lonely,” explains Jeff, who works in the workshop. “They want somebody there, you know, they’ve lost their wives or boyfriends, girlfriends.” 

Technology is also playing its part in the porn world. VR Bangers produces highly immersive virtual reality porn shot in a 180-degree point-of-view (POV) angle. In this scenario users wear a headset and can look around as if they are in the room as the star of the show. 

With these products more people are gaining control of a part of their life that up til now has been dependent on a relationship with another human.

Exhibition: Alastair Philip Wiper, PLEASURE POINTS (2019) / Photo Credits: Victoria Langenecker

Wiper’s work is exhibited on the 1st floor of FRAME in our exhibition park at Refshaleøen. The exhibition takes place in three darkrooms, where the only lighting is shed on the colourful, humorous artworks. The atmosphere is provided by a soundtrack of interviews and recordings from the subjects.

The festival centre and CPF has generously been supported by Københavns Kommune, Det Obelske Familiefond og Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond. 

Exhibition: Hashem Shakeri, CAST OUT OF HEAVEN (2016-ongoing)

Hashem Shakeri’s exhibition will fit the industrial and desolate setting at Refshaleøen by huge landscape photos on scaffoldings and 15 smaller artworks focusing on Tehran’s citizens and their stories, scattered over the terrin.

The festival centre and CPF has generously been supported by Københavns Kommune, Det Obelske Familiefond og Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond. 

Link to Podcast with Foam Talks - "An Elegy for the Death of Hamun"

Framing Society

Hashem Shakeri

The current U.S. sanctions against Iran, mismanagement by the government and the subsequent drastic drop in the value of the Iranian currency have led to skyrocketing housing prices in Iran. 

This has forced many Tehraners to leave the capital and seek new homes on the margins of Tehran; Parand, Pardis and Hashtgerd. The towns are part of the Mehr Housing Project, initiated in 2007—the largest state-funded housing project in Iran’s history. 

These newly-constructed towns are marked by soaring residential skyscrapers notorious for social pathologies, such as high suicide rates and drug abuse. Sleep-deprived residents leave early in the morning for work, with a daily commute of two to three hours. Populations are also increasing rapidly without the adequate educational, social or health care services to support them. There is also no entertainment, nothing to do in one’s free time. Here is the land of those cast out of their heaven – the metropolitan Tehran. And they all share the bitterness of the fall.

Hashem Shakeri, a native to Iran, spent more than four years meeting and documenting the residents and towns of Parand, 30 km southwest of Tehran province, Pardis, 17 km northeast of Tehran province and Hashtgerd, 25 km west of Tehran province.

“Cast out of Heaven”is the second part of Shakeri’s trilogy which deals with issues of exile, isolation, self-alienation and abandonment as experienced by the contemporary man, regardless of a specific geography. The first story of this trilogy was called “An Elegy for the Death of Hamun”

Framing Vision

Framing Vision

Ute Behrend

When I was bored at a rented holiday home one summer, a bath mat caught my eye. It was the type you put in the tub to avoid slipping. 

It was composed of many small transparent plastic pieces intended to mimic pebbles. “Oh,” I thought, “in the bathtub you should feel as if you are lying in a stream where you can see and feel the pebbles. Beautiful, clean stones in clear water”. 

It seemed to me a little absurd to satisfy the longing for nature in this way, while nature is being destroyed all over the world. With this artistic project, I attempt to bring the artificially-created nature to the living “real” naturetransferring ordinary everyday objects, which are imitations of plants, stones and animals, to places where one would expect their real pendants. 

They become a symbol for “that which remains” when everything else has been destroyed, rather like androids that develop their own self-confidence. Not knowing that they are simulacra, they raise the same questions that preoccupy all of us: Where do I come from? Where should I go? How much time do I still have?

Exhibition: Ute Behrend, BACK TO NATURE (2018-2020) / SPACE FRAME by Jakob Holmqvist-Larsen and Lenschow & Pihlmann

The German artist Ute Behrend’s Back To Nature is exhibited as part of the installation Space Frame, where her works will be printed directly on textile and mounted on Space Frame which has been designed by architect Jakob Holmqvist-Larsen in collaboration with Lenschow & Pihlmann. As an additional part of the exhibition, Ute Behrend will be presenting limited editions of plastic stones made and sold specifically for this occasion.

Space Frame is supported by Dreyers Fond, and Ute Behrend’s exhibition is supported by Statens Kunstfond and Goethe Institut Dänemark. 

The festival centre and CPF has generously been supported by Københavns Kommune, Det Obelske Familiefond og Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond.


Search and find – Norwegian Stig Marlon Weston’s exhibition is based on an expedition in the Amazon rainforest, so a tent and hammocks will be placed on the setting. The artworks are spread out in the Bedding’s landscape, so that they will blend in with nature. This Demands your full attention to catch every glimpse of it. Blink, and you might miss it.

Stig Marlon Weston’s exhibition is supported by Statens Kunstfond. 

The festival centre and CPF has generously been supported by Københavns Kommune, Det Obelske Familiefond og Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond.

Find the solo exhibitions in the programme here

Framing Vision


Empirical is a photographic exploration of the Amazon rainforest landscape, investigating how the scientific method of looking at climate change can be depicted as a way in which to see and sense the natural environment.

Working with scientists and local activist groups, Stig Marlon Weston has travelled through both rainforest nature reserves and industrially developed areas to document and collect visual samples of how human activity has inflicted changes upon the natural landscape.

With cameraless photography he makes «lumen prints» by exposing light sensitive analog photographic paper to sunlight. The paper reacts to the light and a shadow imprint is formed as a direct photograph of the subject placed on the paper. The paper also reacts to temperature, humidity, physical touch and chemical interaction. 

Explore more about this series and his photography technique in the tent, join the printing activities, and follow the paths of artworks nestled in and around the treeline.

Framing Identity

Framing Identity

Ira Lupu

In 2020 and 2021, human relationships have been rendered increasingly remote, occurring over video calls on the other side of a screen. 

On Dreams and Screens investigates how intimate and real we can get through a web camera, and what emotional patterns are likely to be formed after hours of broadcasting on the internet. 

It scrutinizes the liminal space where the physical body transitions into an electronic one, and observes how the virtual gaze seeps into our day-to-day existence. Online webcam models turn out to be experts in the field of screen-based human bonding—their livelihoods depend on it.

I photographed five Ukrainian and one Mexican-American cam girl with experience in online sex work (called webcam models, or cam girls) and talked to them in moments of self-contemplation — in the places of their childhoods, favorite nature spots, and at home: What have they learned? Who are they? What do they have to teach us?

I sought to understand the paradoxical relationship of intimacy and distance, connection and disconnection, in a world newly transformed. As someone who has much experience with long-term, long-distance relationships, these are questions that I have long been asking myself: How do these relationships affect a person’s perceptions? Who do we become when we exchange desires over a keyboard? 

Whilst living in the US, I became exceedingly concerned by the “othering” and fetishizing of Eastern European females in the Western world, while Eastern Europe is one of the biggest online sex work hubs. On Dreams and Screens provides a more nuanced portrait of an Eastern European cam girl, and celebrates her beyond any fantasies or cliches.

Exhibition: Ira Lupu, ON DREAMS AND SCREENS (2020)

On Dreams and Screens is built like a home, with a living room, TV, makeup closet, sofa and a French balcony with a view over the Bedding. In here, you get to experience the privacy of the girl’s lives, behind the webcams. Interviews with the girls will also be playing on the television, so that you get a fingertip feel of what a day in the life of these people is like.

The festival centre and CPF has generously been supported by Københavns Kommune, Det Obelske Familiefond og Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond.

Exhibition: Cemre Yesil Gönenli, Hayal & Hakikat: A Handbook of Punishment, A Handbook of Forgiveness (2020)

Cemre Yeşil Gönenli is a photographer, artist and visual storyteller who lives in Istanbul, Turkey. Her works will be exhibited on the ground floor in Frame at the exhibition park at Refshaleøen, and take the form of a jail cell. The cell consists of two rows with inmates – all with their hands visible. On one side, you have the inmates who await penalty, and on the other, the ones who await acquittal. Hence Punishment & Forgiveness. In the middle of it all, there will be two cells that you can enter.

Cemre Yeşil Gönenli’s exhibition is supported by Statens Kunstfond. 

The festival centre and CPF has generously been supported by Københavns Kommune, Det Obelske Familiefond og Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond.

Find the solo exhibitions in the programme here

Framing Identity

Cemre Yeşil Gönenli

Hayal & Hakikat (translated as Dream & Fact) is an installation inspired by the publication titled A Handbook of Forgiveness and A Handbook of Punishment by Cemre Yeşil Gönenli.

The book takes the form of two booklets of archival photographs which can be viewed side by side. They depict the hands of prisoners from the early 20th century, drawn from the photograph albums of Abdul Hamid II, the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Obsessed with crime fiction, the Sultan was moved by pseudo-scientific information he read in a novel that “any criminal with a thumb joint longer than the index finger joint, is inclined to murder.” In the 25th year of his reign he ordered all murder convicts to be photographed with their hands visible, in preparation for a planned amnesty.

The images have been categorized; those chained with iron bracelets and those without. The brutal gesture of cropping; as if the prisoner’s heads are cut with a guillotine, is actually a gesture to save them; not to re-record their identities as criminals; discarding their crimes whatever they were; to give them a second chance in life or perhaps to give them back their freedom. The ‘Dream’ of the title refers to the inmates’ desire for release and the ‘Fact’, their actual circumstances. The fate of the individual prisoners, awaiting the judgement or forgiveness, remains unknown as no record of the Sultan’s verdict exists.

The work becomes both; a bridge in between two different periods in history that share the absurdity of coincidental freedom and a silent protest against a political climate that killed the dreams of a younger generation.

Hayal & Hakikat is dedicated to those who are arbitrarily detained in today’s Turkey.