Ida Arentoft and Simon McAuley


“You can point the camera South and I can point it North”

Ida Arentoft - 2nd May, Looking South
Ida Arentoft_- 5th April, Looking North
Ida Arentoft - 29th April, 5 Minute Exposure of the Moon

Ida Arentoft

Simon McAuley

Ida Arentoft is a Danish visual artist who graduated with a degree in Fine Art Photography from The Glasgow School of Art in 2010. Arentoft has exhibited internationally at places such as Street Level Photoworks (UK), Project Ability (UK), Harbourfront Art Centre (CA), The Art Foundation Metamatic: Taf (GR), Fotografisk Center (DK), Copenhagen Photo Festival (DK), Code Art Fair (DK) and Photo Collect Fair (DK). Her work has been selected for ‘Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed’ by The Photographer’s Gallery (UK), for ARTISIT? (IRL) and for ‘Young Danish Photography’ by Fotografisk Center and Galleri Image (DK). Danish Women’s Library has commissioned her photographs for publication in various articles, and in 2018 Arentoft took part in the publication project ‘The Year’ published by Blankt Papir Press. In 2017 she completed a residency with The Bothy Project in Scotland. Later she participated in an online residency project with Feminist Photography Network, with a second edition coming up in 2020. Alongside her own practice, Ida Arentoft teaches photography in, for instance, museums, galleries and at photo festivals for various community groups. She has been teaching analogue photography workshops and school photography workshops during Copenhagen Photo Festival for a number of years.

The photographs of Ida Arentoft construct individual and collective memories of the land, and explore how we relate and belong to a place. In her practice she investigates aspects of time, memory, light, perceptions of land and concepts of numerous realities in photography by using the camera as a tool to record her journeys. Her work is often inspired by remote locations and by navigating in landscapes. Arentoft is interested in creating a visual archive by recording the passing of time and transient moments that all connect to a sense of place. The motifs in the pictures are often allusions, placed somewhere in between fiction and reality. She is interested in notions of indeterminacy and thereby in an investigation of the ability of a photograph to suggest multiple stories.

Simon Mcauley  (b.1968} is a visual artist from Scotland. He exhibited at Copenhagen Photo Festival in 2017 at Understationen in Photo City with the exhibition “On the same Latitude” done in collaboration with Ida Arentoft. Mcauley graduated with a degree in Fine Art Photography from Glasgow School of art in 1997. His practice is research based working in variety of ways and methodology. Photography has a prominent place in his practice, both literally and theoretically where theory informs other theory from a multitude of areas. This has a bearing on his work and has developed a writing practice in recent years. He recently took part in a residency at Cove Park (Scotland) working with photography, his default medium.

A number of ideas create research clusters for his practice. Among these are physics, philosophy and a variety of theory. Including language, literary and aesthetic. Each project within his practice develops in relation to itself and with a relevance to the unfolding of its direction. In this sense modernity is a template for outcomes and is a guide for an aesthetic, appropriate to the artists interests and attention. As such reductive processes create ongoing connections, areas of ambiguity and clarity in their structure and constituent parts.

Mcauley has exhibited Internationally, undertaken a number of residencies and continues to research through his practice and writing. In 2018 he took part in a performance piece for the Glasgow International programme. Recently he exhibited photographs in Berlin (Art Cru gallery August 2019) and Glasgow (South Block March 2019). He was the editor and designer for two publications of collected writing on the subjects of disability art and outsider art. This involved interviews, commissioning written pieces and research over a three year period. The first book was published in 2018 titled “Inside Outer Side out “Inner”. The second was published in 2019 with the title “Label – a brief description given for purposes of identification.” In connection to this he was a curator for an Outsider Art display in Glasgow 2018 and for a permanent display Kelvingrove Glasgow 2019.

Simon Mcauley - 17 march 1122 East
Simon Mcauley - 25 april 1750 West
Simon Mcauley - 8th April South

The collaborative project ‘On the Same Latitude’ was commissioned by and shown at Project Ability in Glasgow in 2015 and is an on-going journey consisting of individual photographic documents and correspondences. When Simon McAuley and Ida Arentoft started working together, the discovery that they were on the same latitude in Scotland and in Denmark became the virtual point of departure for their collaboration. Separated by the North Sea, a few hundred miles, and a time zone of an hour. 

While making photographs they would correspond via email nearly every day, sending each other guidelines for pictures, ideas, image examples and notes on the past journeys out photographing. The dialogue shaped the project and they pointed their cameras North, South, East, West at agreed times on the same latitude and made individual responses and observations. The project functions as an expedition journal documenting an explorative trip and navigation through landscapes and times.

Ida Arentoft & Simon Mcauley was a part of the 2017 Copenhagen Photo Festival with the exhibition On The Same Latitude.
Ida Arentoft & Simon Mcauley, On The Same Latitude. Picture from the exhibition at Copenhagen Photo Festival.

As McAuley and Arentoft have travelled on their shared latitude they have found a common ground. Despite different viewpoints, their images have crossovers, share elements, and the motifs have references to one another. By adding an observer to what the singular eye sees and by pressing the shutter on the camera synchronously – and in this moment choosing how to frame the photograph – McAuley and Arentoft reflect on an understanding of what surrounds us and on the different ways we all observe, navigate and remember.

Photography creates a mutual language between the two artists and functions as a tool to tell two individual stories that meet by observing things that happen simultaneously on specific points in two places, though under the same sky on the same globe.

In Photo City, Simon McAuley and Ida Arentoft are showing a new edit and installation of the pictures from ‘On the Same Latitude’. A publication of mainly texts and data from their correspondences has been made, as well as some new photographs specifically for the festival. ‘On the Same Latitude’ has previously only been exhibited as a compiled project in Scotland, and the two artists are still researching, writing, photographing and corresponding.