Astrid Kruse Jensen

The Construction of Memories

16.04 – 22.05.2010

Astrid Kruse Jensen has up until now been working with available light and its disturbing gleam on reality. However, in her recent series The Construction of Memories some of the works are staged. The female figure appears again as an extra with averted face - a kind of vision composed of intangible memories. The appearance of the women is on the one hand a search for something and on the other a state of introverted hesitation. It seems like they are attracted to the darkness and the unknown but at the same time - emphasized by the reoccurring red color - are stepping out of the darkness. Here they allow themselves to be wrapped up completely in their ambiguous search for unattainable dreams and visions.


The reddish cast is also present in some of the wood landscapes. Here the existing light of the street lamps plays up against the blue sky of the twilight creating a surreal atmosphere. In the juxtaposition with the photos of the women the abstractions from nature are seen as a representation of reality. A reality that slowly is taken over by the dreams - like fictional films, which are cross cut with the dark silence of the wood, immediately before something is about to happen. The bluish twilight and its ambiguous trace of daylight places the scenery in a kind of middle stage. A boat is lying by a shore and invites us to move into the unknown. The dim reflections both reproduce and distort the well known, while an underlying force of attraction mixes with the feeling of a lack of understanding or lack of ability to seize neither dream nor reality.


Often photography is functioning as a protection against oblivion - a wish to store memories for posterity. But most childhood memories are remembered solely as an accumulation of different impressions. What you believe to remember from your childhood is often not sheer visual impressions, and therefore the photographic reconstruction of memory will be a visualization of stored emotions, sensations, feelings, and details. Such a visual juxtaposition implies inevitably surreal undertones, which contribute to question, whether memories exist as anything other than an imaginary space of memories.


When Astrid Kruse Jensen constructs memories from childhood days, this surreal touch is being added. By for example placing apples in red strings on the branches, by letting soap bubbles flow out of the house, or by attaching swings to the outermost thin branches, which would never be able to bear the weight of even a small body. It is precisely these unlikely situations that stress that the staged dream vision never took place in reality but instead is an abstract visual rewriting of fragmentary impressions. Constructs of memories that maybe never existed but are created out of fragments and sensations. The question is, whether the memory and the reality will ever be able to meet, or if the memory is forever passed to another world, to the complete fusion of fantasy and reality.


The exhibition is part of the programme for Copenhagen Photo Festival.