Our Human Quest For Meaning Is The Same Regardless Of Demographics And Nations.


SOFIE ADELSPARRE

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PHOTOGRAPHER, COPENHAGEN


Early on, Sofie - who was born in Copenhagen, Denmark - decided to hit the road to nourish her creativity. Having lived in four different countries, including China and currently Scotland, she uses her observations of cultures and people to try answering these questions: What gives our lives meaning and how coping with the idea of our own mortality guides the choices we make?


Sofie comes back with us on her career as a young photographer on a line between art and reportage, flirting with sensitive situations and how she copes with them being a woman.


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I have always been drawn to some kind of extreme (...) the camera became a way for me to document what I was witnessing

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HOW DID YOU BECOME A FULL-TIME PHOTOGRAPHER?


SOFIE: I started out with a cheap camera I was gifted and gathered inspiration from every documentary I could find about photographers. I learned how they worked by observing and trying their techniques. Later I asked friends attending photography schools to share the assignments they had been given with me. Practicing and asking them for feedback helped me build a portfolio which I kept secret until I got accepted into the Glasgow School of Art and moved to Scotland to pursue this.


The reason behind all this is that I have always been drawn to some kind of extreme and doors, which would stay closed to most people somehow opened to me, sometimes on the verge of legality. The camera became a way for me to document what I was witnessing. In the beginning it was also a tool for me to cope with life. At some point I started connecting the dots: the photographs I had gathered were gradually forming narratives and themes.



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I feel the most proud of my work when I connect with my images on a bodily level. Some of my images strike an instant physical response in me

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CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT YOU ARE WORKING ON NOW?


SOFIE: There is an urgency to our human condition that drives my work, which is applicable regardless of demographics and nations. I have a fascination with trying to grasp, with my camera, the way human beings cope with, or deny their own mortality. One of the main angles I started exploring is how we try to balance our lives between the domesticated - what is socially accepted - and the wild that wants to come out.



A piece from the project ‘Fool’s Island of Opportunity’ by Sofie Adelsparre

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This Picture Is The Perfect Example...

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The birds are stuffed yet they look so utterly alive. Almost more so than any group of live birds I have ever seen.To me, this picture is the perfect example of how we animate death to make it look alive in an attempt to cope with our own mortality. These birds are stuck in an eternal mid-flight. A standing contradiction behind glass. A brutal look at dead corpses, yet also a vision of preserving both beauty and a dream of immortality.






DO YOU FACE SPECIFIC CHALLENGES BEING A WOMAN PHOTOGRAPHER?


SOFIE: I find that being a woman can open doors to more sensitive situations as you are not being perceived as threatening and subjects can therefore be less defensive, for example when it comes to photographing state symbols and military parades. 


At the same time there are certain levels of precautions that I have to take, especially while working mostly on the road, that my male counterparts don’t have to take.It is more difficult to be taken seriously as a woman - which though as I said, can be turned in my favour in order to access more delicate scenarios. 



WHAT ARE THE MOMENTS WHEN YOU FEEL FULFILLED AS A PHOTOGRAPHER? 


SOFIE: I feel the most proud of my work when I connect with my images on a bodily level. Some of my images strike an instant physical response in me. Kind of like listening to the beat of that song you cannot get out of your head, it demands you to move.



And By The Way...






WHAT DOES FASHION MEAN TO YOU?


SOFIE: Fashion is play! It’s the closest thing to creating a story for yourself and living in it. I just got my hands on these amazing black knee-high heels. I feel like a deeply inappropriate super spy.



WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR AND WHY?


SOFIE: A blue so deep you disappear in it.



ARE YOU A MORNING OR A NIGHT BIRD?


SOFIE: Nightly hours are like stolen time where you owe nothing to anyone.



A MESSAGE FOR YOUR TEN YEAR OLD SELF?


SOFIE: Give ‘em hell kid. They’ll love you for it in the end.


What Is The Little Arrow You Follow Everyday?


SOFIE: I would always rather be happy than dignified.



DO YOU HAVE A LIFE MOTTO?


SOFIE: "Ever tried, ever failed. Try again, fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett

Sofie's Inspirations & Work

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1. A book: Stranger, Olivia Arthur - an absolutely poetic and thought-provoking photo book where she imagines what it would be like to have been shipwrecked 50 years ago and return to present Dubai.

2. A song: Taro, Alt-j  -
 the feeling I get whenever I listen to the music of Alt-J reminds me of how I feel about great photographs.It gets under your skin in unforeseen ways and my reaction changes every time I listen to it. Taro is about Gerda Taro, the highly underrated war photographer who died on the front.


Discover Sofie's work at www.sofieadelsparre.com and on instagram @sofie_adelsparre


Sofie will be exhibiting her work from February 19th to 28th at the Jenah St.'s popup store in Berlin, following the very first Café Live co-hosted by Josephine de Fijter, founder of Uncoated Platform // For requests regarding the opening, write us at hello@jenah-st.com

 


SEND SOFIE YOUR QUESTIONS

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