I have discovered a pleasure in writing. I used to possess it even previously, before I grew up and learned that my writings are not any good. So I have actually recovered the satisfaction I get from producing text, something I lost simultaneously with starting out with photography. It has taken me 10 years to find out, that my writing and my photography can coexist. And maybe not just coexist, but function together. I used to think of them as rivals, one better than the other, something I need to choose between. I felt that I had to choose, wether I wanted to make images or produce writing, but I could not focus on them both and develop them both at the same time. And maybe I could not have, before, but now my practice has opened up slightly and there might just be a vacant spot for some words.
I used to write poetry and lyrics when I was a teenager. They were not that bad, naive and juvenile obviously, but not too awful. I had an interest specially for Russian poetry and a man called Jevgeni Jevtušenko, who is a 20th century poet, known for his criticism towards the Stalinist legacy. I found one of his books in the local library next to my high school, it was red and old, and I quoted parts of his poems in a word document I collected poem paragraphs in. I also enjoyed reading Alekandr Puškin.
My own poetry was very dark and sad. It spoke about loss, condemnation and through that some kind of weird, approved retribution I thought I was entitled to. I saw my life as a very battled journey and everything I faced had to result in a choice. Images or words. I chose images, on the cost of loosing my words.
I wrote my first short novel when I was at the age of ten. I loved Agatha Christies detective stories, so my first story was about a private eye called Pete Jockey. I do not have any memories of where that name came from, it probably originated in some of the girly horse mags I adored… The story about the character Pete Jockey was called “Seven Souls and Four Days”. It was a terrible tale of approximately ten pages, written on an old typewriter. Every single one of my characters ended up dead. Except Pete Jockey of course, the hero who solved the crime. I wouldn’t say I was an unhappy or sad child, I was just always very aware of my dark side and very sensitive to the darkness all together. I have later, in the rush of becoming an adult, put aside a lot of that darkness but I am not sure that you ever can. You can only choose to ignore it, but sooner or later it will track you down.
What has become clear through the writing I am engaging in today, is that my identity is strongly connected with the language I use. As a multilingual person, I am constantly choosing which language to use and that choice highly depends on the form of the writing. Using one language more than another, both disables and enables the other languages. When you are in a surrounding where one language is dominant, both your mind and your tongue starts to co operate to produce the most accurate vocabulary for that specific need. It is then quite difficult to all of a sudden, change tongue and expect the physical parts of your body that are entwined in the process of producing words, to just succumb. Writing in a language that is not “your own”, places you outside of your writing and gives you a very objective view on the chosen words. I do not possess a special emotion towards the english language, other than the notion of that english has always been the language of The Popular Culture every western born child get immersed in, and therefor I can use or miss use the language very freely. Writing outside of yourself about yourself is a very empowering experience. The writing can easily get very exclusive, if you do not know the vocabulary well enough and you are depending on the OED (= Oxford English Dictionary, the english language loves its abbreviations) and a thesaurus, but who cares! It is the freedom of just simply writing, that has helped me to complete my practice.
I sometimes use unnecessary difficult words and I occasionally use them wrongly, but there is a very deliberate reason for doing that. My writing is a constant exercise I engage with, to introduce my mind and my tongue to new words, broadening my vocabulary. I’m curious about finding new ways of expressing myself and new expressions that flourishes my articulation.
When publishing my writing online, I am aware of the fact that anyone can read the texts I produce, but I am not really sure that many do. Nevertheless, I always get very happy hearing that someone actually has read them. I still consider that I am writing purely to myself and for myself, to the outer me. But by going public I give myself a reason to strive for clear articulation. I keep having these conversations with the outside me and I am happy to give the outside you a chance to take part of this ramble.
In my previous photographic work, I combined the images with the writings of an author I especially asked to contribute with a piece for the specific body of work. That worked out well and I was planning on continuing on that note now as well. But it has become clear to me during the past months, that I must provide the writing myself in order to get both the absolute freedom and the total control that I need to posses.
I write because a lot of the thoughts and concepts that swirls around and through my conscious mind, is impossible to transcribe into pictures. I realise I contradict myself again here. It seems like I have all of a sudden revealed an interdisciplinary practice I did not expect was lying underneath all the frustration.