ANDRE VIKING | COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
André Viking (b.1989) is a Danish visual artist currently living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark. After graduating from Copenhagen Film & Photography School, Viking completed the General Studies Program at The International Center of Photography in 2014, where he was awarded two ICP Director’s Scholarships. With the strong belief in photography’s subjective yet universal language, André Viking draws from ancient history and myths to explore convoluted relationships between meaning, truth and fiction. Viking’s work has been exhibited internationally, including Copenhagen Photo Festival, Krakow Photomonth, and The Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado.
What is your work about?
The photographs in my series, Closed Eyes, are often drawn from the oldest, most universal ideas, such as; the four elements, zoolatry, and light vs. dark. I am interested in how ideas and symbols are shared throughout various mythologies and belief systems, in an attempt to answer the most difficult and basic questions of human existence. As a way to investigate and compare these myths, I explored historical sites and experimented with concepts in my studio. My work, therefore, becomes a mixture of documentary and fiction – just like most mythologies.
I believe we can learn a lot from our ancient ancestors, and the links between all of our shared experience they illuminate. Many of these myths and ancient truths express a belief and a shared experience of being a part of something bigger, seeing the earth as a single organism.
Universal ideas connect humans and makes us think about the characteristics we have in common, and if there’s a medium that speaks a universal language, its photography. A photograph is a symbolic surface and symbolism takes us all the way back to the first known human expressions in visual art, as in the first cave paintings.
How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
I feel the process helps retain my work’s link to the past. I also prefer to be physical and move around printing in the darkroom instead of sitting in front of a computer. For me working with film is a short escape from the digital life that has become such a big part of our lives. It slows down the time and makes me think more of my subject and how I want to photograph it.