Close Up: Small Wide Views - Marianne Holm Hansen


Close Up: A series of features taking a close-up look at some of the favourite series of works from Shutter Hub's photographers.


Our Close Up features normally focus on a single series of photographic works: a favourite, most recent or most typical series of works by the artist. In the case of Marianne Holm Hansen, this is complicated because of her habit of repeatedly changing the context of works, combining them, and relocating them. Most of her works are 'ongoing projects' it seems, continually evolving through re-visits and re-contetualisations of an image or an idea.

Her Small Wide Views project takes samples of tiny moments in every day existence and relocates them in time and space. In that sense, it's very much a 'photographic' experience. Although, the difference is that these images move as well – their stop frame animation format takes them beyond most people's meaning of 'photograph'. For example, an electrical fan just slightly displaces a tablecloth; a sun rises and sets; some clothes dance on a washing line. The repetition of these moments causes the viewer to consider them more closely as events, but also creates a sense of tension and unease related to constant making and unmaking of the scenes depicted. Explaining something like this is consequently rather like being a character in a Haruki Murakami novel: as soon as you think you are on firm ground, another level of meaning appears and the world coagulates in a different form altogether.

Small Wide Views then comprises photography which is just on the margins of being 'not photography'. Arguably if a motion picture is merely a sequence of photographs strung together extremely tightly then these are more like very very short films than photographs. In musical terms, they are more like a sample or drum loop from a hip hop record than a conventional song or symphony, and for that just as modern and impactful.

The images which repeat and loop endlessly call to mind one of the Oblique Strategies designed by the artist Peter Schmidt and the musician and record producer Brian Eno which states: 'Repetition is a form of change' (The Oblique Strategies were presented as a series of cards, each with a phrase or aphorism imprinted on it, which were intended as prompts to help artists and musicians bypass creative blocks or dilemmas). In this case repetition is indeed a form of change because although the moving image remains a constant, the viewer inevitably alters their perception over time, and provides the change from within. Here repetition can be calming, unsettling, disorientating, and satisfying, sometimes all at once.

Another of the Oblique Strategies simply reads 'Not building a wall; making a brick'. By causing us to look closely at these tiny incidents happening out of context and over and over again, we are being asked to examine the mundane world in detail. But the unease it generates tells us that this is an artificial manipulation of time, and reveals the final truth that the world does not happen over and over continually in a loop: in the real world things degrade, time slows and stretches, things get older, things fall apart.

Marianne studied at the Fynske Academy of Fine Art, (Denmark), the International Center of Photography (New York) and completed an MA in Interactive Media: Critical Theory and Practice, at Goldsmiths (University of London). Her work is shown internationally through exhibitions, presentations and screenings and she has held research and production residencies in the UK, USA, France and Serbia. In 2011 she received an Arts Council England award to publish her first book project '100 things not worth repeating: on repetition' (LemonMelon, UK).

You can find out more about the work of Marianne Holm Hansen on her Shutter Hub profile, and at her website. More works from the Small Wide Views Series are available to view here.


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