The Female Gaze

Category: Photography

Heroes and Henson

I grew up seeing (receiving?) a very specific photographic representation of Greenland, which was in many ways quite similar to the way Iceland has been represented through photography for the last decades. It has, I think, a lot to do with one man; Ragnar Axelsson or RAX. And of course a few more. These men downed polar bear pants and reindeer jackets and sat on dogsleds for days looking for a live version of what they were wearing. Or more specifically looking to capture an image of the natives hunting these animals, living off the land. These men braved the stinging cold and the brutal storms, spending time on the ice alongside the people of the arctic. They then presented us with a crazy, nostalgic and dramatic visual alphabet of contrasts. The letters of this alphabet were in caps lock and spelled the loudest and most important of words but its letters were few and the vocabulary limited. As with any type of photography or other means of representation. These men were HEROES. Heroes with cameras. I am not.

Today I head to Greenland in a kind of reaction to these dazzling versions of the North. I set out to gather moments to make up my version. It will not be the truth, or accurate in any way, but it will be a truth and my version.

A few weeks ago I attended a lecture of RAX about his work and he shared a little anecdote: “When the Greenlanders wanted to dress up for the camera they would take off the hunting gear made from skins and put on brightly colored Henson-outfits. In their eyes that was the stuff. Then of course I had no longer any interest in photographing them.”

I now dream of making that photograph.






These photographs are taken from RAX’s series The Hunters of Greenland, more here:

The trip to Greenland and Moderlandet-project is made with the help of the Vestnorræni höfuðborgasjóðurinn and Air Iceland / Flugfélag Íslands.

Moderlandet – The 1% of Blok P

How do you imagine a land, a place, a nation? And how does one document those things?

The coming months I will use this blog as a venue for posting thoughts and musings, progress and failure in capturing the nations of Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland. The name of the project Moderlandet or The Motherland refers to how these nations were once united under the Danish flag and my intentions of looking into the relationships between these countries using photography as my medium.


My first trip to Greenland looms near and feeling daunted and excited I make little Google-rounds to see if I can get any closer. One of my favorite things found on these digital trips is Blok P. Blok P was a gigantic 200 meters long residential building erected smack in the center of Nuuk in 1965-66 in an effort by the Danish government to modernize the Inuit lifestyle. Until its demolition in 2012 this graffiti covered modern monster housed 1% of the country’s population in 320 flats.

Blok P was by no means designed to fit its future occupants who would have trouble entering narrow doorways in bulky gear and clog drains with blood from their pray dragged up five stories to be gutted in the bathtub. Nor was it designed to add beauty to the capital of Greenland. This architectural catastrophe is very much reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s Radiant City attempting efficient storage of human beings, whose lives were to be lived with utmost efficiency, not enjoyment. Lonely Planet described Blok P as “…so depressing that it’s almost an attraction in itself.”




The trip to Greenland and Moderlandet-project is made with the help of the Vestnorræni höfuðborgasjóðurinn and Air Iceland / Flugfélag Íslands.

Archivo Book

This just arrived for me in the post – ARCHIVO Photography 2012. Archivo is a documentary photography project founded, in Porto, Portugal by Ana Catarina Pinho. My work light of day was featured in the Found Photography issue of ArchivoZine and now also in the ‘yearbook’ of 2012. The book is full of interesting artists and intriguing texts. Better start reading.

DSCF2874_l  DSCF2873_l


Hasselblad Center

New Nordic Photography 2013 is now open in Hasselblad Center in Göteborg. Let the crowds in.



The big banner on the right is ours – with an image from Santiago Mostyn – and can be seen from outer space. The other participants are Hannes Anderzén, Malin Bernalt, Savas Boyraz, Jonna Kina, Frida Klingberg and Christopher Landin. I was very impressed with the work, as well as Hasselblad Foundation’s curating and organizing, the Swedes certainly know how to schedule a day without a minute to spare.
Interestingly three of us had images from Turkey, especially fitting in these times.

The Ultimate Edit

Here is the edit of the images I made in Latvia, when I visited that beautiful country a couple of weeks ago to attend a photography workshop.
An yes, there is only one. Sometimes you don’t need more, sometimes there just aren’t more.

Degree Show Time

I just put some installation pictures from the Glasgow School of Art degree show on my website. Here is the link:
Here is the Fine Art Photography website for viewing work from the graduating class:
And finally for the whole school:

Me, Siggi and Kári (not really wanting to be in the picture) in my space in the Macintosh.

Margrét María, little sis, the GameBoy and Pippi.

My new pastime – collection so far

Volcanic eruptions on postcards, take something home to remember Iceland by!

Places and years can be found at the bottom.

1. Gjástykki, 1977.
2. Grímsvötn, unspecified but since color photography became common there have been eruptions there in 1983, 1984, 1996, 1998 and 2004. Although I am pretty sure this one (and perhaps the one below) is from the big one in 1996.
3. Surtsey, 1963.
4. Krafla, 1984.
5. Grímsvötn, see above.
6. Heimaey, 1973.


Lately I’ve been an active robber of images from the internet. Some I accidentally stumble upon, others are answers to google searches, usually showing something entirely different than the search-word would suggest. I decided to edit my selection down to a little series in an endeavor my previous teacher, Jessica Ingram, would call a Quick & Dirty, a non time consuming work hopefully free of overthinking and -censoring. The title Ventures of Men came to me on the toilet but I stripped it to Ventures, attempting not to be over dramatic.



California Sunshine

All taken in Potrero Hill, where I lived in San Francisco… there’s no place like it.

I tried to focus on silence, peace, and still keep it bleak and bleached, showing SF using my aesthetics but using technique to ad a Cali-feeling. This is what we leave behind..

Inspired by J. H. Engström: