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Laila Svensgaard’s art practice is invested in the ontology of the photographic materiality and how to
create art through different photographic processes. Svensgaard works across a connected span
of mediums such as sound, drawing, photography and independent artists books publishing.
Her works are on a fundamental level investigating registration in the photographic process,
yet her artistic experiments are often rooted in the irrational aspects of the conditions for light,
movements and materials. A working method more similar to a painter’s request, than the
indexical truth ridden properties connected to the photograph as documentation.
In the recent years Svensgaard has mainly been focusing on creating ‘cameraless’ photographs,
which materialize through a curious medium experimentation. The images are created through
the use of a simple light source exposure and light sensitive photographic paper that preserves
and trace the imprint as a negative image. Often her approaches are taking a starting point
peculiar small experiments, such as developing ‘Pocket Photos’ by asking people to carry light
sensitive paper in their pocket, creating a small active camera inside the trousers, that records
light, movements and the pocket fabric's patterns, resulting in an abstract composition. Or by
registering the movement of the moon, by installing a self-made pinhole camera on a rooftop to
capture beautiful drawings of light, made by cosmic movements.
Through a philosophical investigation of photographic materiality, Svensgaard creates a small
photographic universe, conditioned by phenomenological questions. In Svensgaard's artistic work
the photographic image is not necessarily statements about the world, but represents itself as a
small piece of our worlds reality. Her photographic works draw us into a poetic universe of dust,
cracks, light, shadows and darkness to explore aesthetic meditative dimensions of the photographic
Iben Elmstrøm, 2020