When talking more broadly about publishing productions, very often independent publishing is forgotten or left out, leaving room for the more classic large publications. Unfortunately, or perhaps luckily, the last few years have seen an increase (and thus a trend) in the market for small or independent publishing productions.
This increase, potentially due to new technologies, is making it accessible to anyone to obtain, with excellent results, fanzines or small books, art or otherwise, useful for the presentation of a portfolio, a project or simply produced for fun.
Since I am, in an almost obsessive way, addicted to small, wire-bound paperback collections and fanzines, I very often find myself scouting among the names of artists and crafters who present, to the public, pieces of work similar to those just mentioned.
Months ago, I came across the work of Joachim Bøgedal, a Danish-Swedish artist currently living in Vienna.
I have to admit that finding more material on Joachim was difficult at first and to this day I do not have a complete insight into the artist, but I would be very curious to make his acquaintance (so Joachim, step up, JugaadMag is calling you).
Interested in his work, I intensively surfed the web and found myself looking at some of his photographic works. Dealing with different themes, his repertoire would require a longer and more elaborate work than a simple article, therefore I will tell you about the work I own.
PART ONE: LALANDIA and – what I used to call – SL (as in Sign Language)
Both works are presented as two simple publications, without complex frills, and very direct towards its audience. What Bøgedal wants to express arrives in an immediate way to the observer, who, looking at medium-sized images, might find a natural pleasure or curiosity in starting a personal quest, investigating the true meaning that each photograph may conceal.
In the first work, PART ONE: LALANDIA, the subject is a feriecenter in Billund (Denmark), more precisely the one called Lalandia Supermarked. Like others of its kind, this place has a precise recreational function for families wishing to find recreation a few kilometres from home, taking advantage of the various attractions such as the mock Mediterranean-style town, the shopping centre or, as Bøgedal shows us, the aquapark.
Typically filled with parents, children and an air of celebration, in the photos taken by the artist we first notice the stillness of time. The switched-off waterslides, the folded sunbeds and the order in which all the elements are arranged make it known to the observer that something is about to happen. Immersed in the images I felt like a modern-day explorer, observing the theatricality of those lights from above and the colours of those shots I perceived an unprecedented solitude and silence.
Bøgedal managed through his shots to convey a component that is not part of the language of photography: sound. More specifically, he has conveyed a mechanism, specifically the mechanism of sound representation of silence in the observer’s mind.
And it is precisely with this component that I speak of his next work: SL.
As I have already explained, the title is currently unknown to me, which is why I took the decision to rename the work. That’s right, I took.
Indeed, after a careful interpretation, one realises that the cover, with its educational function, fully reveals the content and title of the work.
The artist again revolves his language around silence, demonstrating to us, through sign language, the power of the photographic medium, both as a teaching method and as a vehicle for messages.
It is no coincidence that the entire work, a small volume with iconographic images on the cover, relies on this message. The artist has questioned his own work, trying to understand its function and asking himself: Is this art?