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Biomedicine in museums

Presence effects in Liv Carlé Mortensen's photo collages, '100 Light Years'

By January 16, 2008No Comments

If you have seen our temporary exhibition Oldetopia: On Age and Ageing, you have probably also seen the room with Liv Carlé Mortensen‘s photo collages, ‘100 Light Years’. If so, you may be interested to read what the chairman of the Novo Nordisk Art Association (Novo Nordisk Kunstforening), Thomas Christiansen, writes about it on his blog. I quote (in free translation):

One of the fundamentally important — and most difficult — things in portrait art is to catch the personality behind the person portrayed, regardless of the medium: marble, oil, photo. As a spectator you usually relate to the portrait in two ways: either you get a general sense of a personality behind the portrait, or you really feel that you are meeting a real personality; the last situation is probably only possible if you know the person ‘in person’ and only rarely takes place. But when it happens it is a powerful experience.

What happened was that Thomas Christiansen suddenly discovered that his grand-aunt Gudrun was among the 16 collages in Liv’s collection: “The everyday was suddenly converted into art in a rather unusual and very personal way”.

Isn’t this a case of presence effects in art? 

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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