What does the world look like? What feelings does it stimulate? Why do we photograph it so urgently? Since 2009, Danish photographer Albert Elm (born 1990) has pursued his curiosity about human existence with a restless energy and intrepid wanderlust, crossing far-flung time zones, boarding the Trans-Siberian Railway, traveling alone in Dubai, China, India, or just walking through his neighborhood in Copenhagen.
What Sort of Life Is This remixes Elm’s distant and local journeys into a bright, bewildering panoply of narrative fragments and surreal compositions that feels both global and personal, fractured yet strangely complete. Photographed using a 35mm film camera (color and black and white) and referencing numerous styles and genres, the work explodes with the spontaneous color and complexity of life—tender, violent, lonely, joyful, bizarre. Equalizing the exotic and the banal, the book treats every picture as if it were made in the same mystifying place: the world itself.
A flaming car by the side of the road, a fully clothed woman rinsing her multi-colored hair in a shower, a pair of feet in bright red socks resting upon a wildly patterned ottoman, an audience watching an underwater dolphin show and this redhead feeding a fox are just a few of the enigmatic, almost hypnotic images collected in The Ice Plant’s new Albert Elm photobook, What Sort of Life Is This. It’s a critic’s pick at Juxtapoz, British Journal of Photography, Phases magazine and Vice,where the artist writes, “To this day I still feel restless often and somehow photography is the only thing that makes my restlessness make sense. It is also an excuse to explore places I wouldn’t normally visit and meet people I wouldn’t normally have met. Sometimes I even make friends.” Text by Cory Reynolds.
available from Artbook