v i b e k e   j e n s e n

Artist presentation



" ...I see your position as someone who uses photography in an unconventional
way, opening new fields of perception/ another part of (visual) reality...

Cornelia Meran, independent curator, Austria

...Vibeke Jensen emerged as an artist with a keen sense for the
psycho geographic mapping of the urban scene, and its deconstruction
and reconfiguration within the space of digital information...
...In particular, Jensen has investigated the practice of surveillance,
recognizing this as a central structural element of advanced urban cultures...
...Vibeke Jensen herself could quite easily be a character in Ballard's
psychotically fragmented narrative "The Atrocity Exhibition", avidly
assembling the elements of a cryptic language of lost spaces, scars, wounds,
damaged memories and fractured visions...

Jeremy Welsh, professor Bergen Art Academy, Norway

...The surveillance videos of Vibeke Jensen poignantly capture the substance,
evanescence, and coded behaviors of the quotidian street...

Koan Jeff-Baysa, independent curator, New York

ORANGE_ALERT I am obsessed with looking and looking devices. My projects deal with the pleasures and fears of watching and being watched. In
my installations I challenge viewers to explore different positions of peeping, voyeurism and surveillance. I pose questions of who is watching whom, and invite the public to actively observe themselves and others.

Depending on the specific situation or environment, I transform
the exhibition space by carefully choosing different media such as sensor driven sound- and video- projections, photographs, looking devices, found and made objects to communicate with the viewer.

The international, experimental and interdisciplinary spirit at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London gave birth to my artistic practice. During my studies I was introduced
to the theories of the Situationist International. Their methods to get people involved in playful experimental behavior like the derivé and constructed situation have greatly influenced my work. When I moved to New York in 1992, I delved into the hardware stores on Canal St., bought a used surveillance system, lenses, spy mirrors, rubber straps and magnifying glasses and started some experiments.

I scrutinize things that intrigue me through close-up attachments
to my cameras: cracks and folds, scars and ruptures, holes and orifices in the city's surfaces and inhabitants. Crawling on my knees or along walls I capture extreme close-ups of intimate details. I am concerned with traces of transformation and time, and the most insignificant detail's ability to evoke sensuous associations and desire. The resulting photographs of immensely enlarged details and fragments magnify the beauty of the discarded and the over-looked and aim at triggering associations to some action, some passion, some space...

I shoot and edit video into a form of counter surveillance, exposing not only material that is normally kept secret, but also the spectator and the person behind the camera. I use surveillance equipment to personalize and reverse hierarchies, creating images that confront the ways in which we perceive how society regulates individuals through suspicion and fear. I work with closed-circuit cameras and night-vision video, exploring the fear and fascination connected to darkness and the ability to see in the dark.

I do not see art, politics or surveillance as separate from daily life. On the contrary, they are interconnected. The current situation in New York is the context of my life and my work. A context that is as local as it is global. ORANGE_ALERT is an appropriate diagnosis.

  ARTbyJENSEN   2005