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Louise by Louise

Louise Enhörning is a Stockholm-based visual artist who caught our attention with her first solo show at Loyal back in 2015, then recently back in town after working out of Paris for several years. Some few years later, Louise has had another two solo shows at the gallery, a recent monograph released by Art & Theory and a brand new clothing collection in collaboration with Weekday, all to her credit.

C-P: Hello Louise, we first learned about your work when you exhibited at Loyal back in 2015. Since you’ve presented another two solo shows at the gallery. Tell us about your experience of working with Martin and Amy. L.H: I love working with those two. They are operating in an international art context to which I can really relate. I always had a stronger presence abroad than in Sweden. They also have a very keen eye, I really trust their taste to one hundred percent. Their vast knowledge about art stretches way beyond just painting and photography. We are in many ways very similar-minded and have lots of mutual interests; everything from music to food. Also, I really like the new gallery space. It has so much character. They're simply the best. C-P: You are born and raised in Stockholm but were based in Paris for several years and have done editorial work for Vogue and luxury clients such as Hermès and agnès b alongside your own artistic practice. Did you find Paris to be as cut-throat as people often make it out to be? L.H: To be honest, I think I'm the wrong person to ask. I see myself closer to French culture than Swedish in general. For many years I lived with one of the best art conservators who worked at Centre Pompidou. She became one my closest friends and a great supporter of my art. She always said to me: "I love Paris because you can walk around in the city with a blue plastic bag on your head and no one would notice" . That would never be the case in Gothenburg where she's from.

C-P: You moved back a little over three years ago. What prompted the return and how has the transitioning from Paris to Stockholm been like for you? L-H: Mostly because of personal reasons that stem from various things than happened in my life around that time. I'm very happy to have Loyal and my art practice, but occasionally Stockholm gets me very restless. The pace is a lot slower than say Paris and NYC. I would prefer it to be a bit faster as I feel like I have so much to give. Luckily my son is a little older now so I could start working abroad again and perhaps target a new market. C-P: As somebody who’s been away for a while, how do you see the position of contemporary photography in the Swedish art scene? In my view, generally speaking, it tends to be resorted to certain niche venues. What are your thoughts? L-H: I think Sweden and namely Stockholm could really benefit from a more non-commercial space dedicated to contemporary photography like Le Fab which just opened in Paris, FOAM in Amsterdam or The Photographers' Gallery in London. I would be very happy to see something similar here. Also it's time to let go of the Swedish tradtion stemming from Fotoskolan and start something new like the Helsinki School did for example.

C-P: We recently met at Galerie Forsblom and you keenly complimented the exhibiting artist, Jarl Ingvarsson, on his command of colors. Your own work also heavily rests on colors. Where does this interest stem from? L-H: Color is something that exists naturally in the universe; it's the light and light is the source of life. Color is one of the things I would say that really defines me as an artist. I'm quite good with colors. Let's say it's always been there. C-P: Last year Art & Theory released your monograph, ’Agape’, designed by super duo Maja Kölqvist and Carl von Arbin. I’m a total artbook aficionado myself. What were some of the considerations that went into the process?

L.H: I really enjoyed working with Art & Theory as they are very keen on understanding the artistic point of departure. They see a book as a piece of art. Maja, I've known since her days of working as a graphic designer in Paris and always liked her work. Carl, however, was new to me. The collaboration was very much a collaboration in the very true sense. I think at one point, Carl thought I was crazy when I started to talk about the layout as a metaphor for a dolphin falling in love with a shark. They are both very professional. I'm very happy about with the overall process and so grateful to the publishers for taking on the project.

C-P: You also told me about a recent stint in L.A and working on a new project. I know it’s still very early but can you share anything about it? L-H: Well, I started this new project called 'Fantasyland' that I shot at the very first Disneyland. Inside, there is a place called Fantasyland which is Sleeping Beauty's castle. The project deals with the notion of memory and is very personal. Stems from me being a kid and bedridden for a year due to illness. C-P: My brother and I often say that there are artists and artists. The latter being those who are often seen out and about and genuinely seem to enjoy the work of peers and keeping track of what’s going on. You strike me as one of those. What are some of the artists whose work you really appreciate? L-H: Thank you! Gosh, there are so many. Among Swedish artists, I really appreciate the work of Hanna Zelleke Collin, Oskar Korsár, Linnea Sjöberg, Hans Andersson, Martina Hoogland Ivanow, Jim Thorell (who also works with Loyal), Annika von Hausswolff, Emanuel Röhss, Jarl Ingvarsson, Elis Eriksson, Karin Broos, Elin Elfström, Siri Derkert, Dick Hedlund and so many others.

C-P: You just released a limited capsule collection in collaboration with Weekday. Would you like to tell us a little about it? L.H: Weekday by Louise Enhörning consists of 8 images of which four make part of 'Agape', my artist book. When I initiated the dialogue with Weekday about a potential artist collaboration, I was more or less done with the work for the book. I was doing som extra additional shots. In the five series that altogether make 'Agape', I had done a very tight edit for the series called 'Transformation'. It was a direction I decided not to include in the book. For Weekday, however, it was a perfect fit. The  series for the most part is made of staged images of dying plants and flowers I had in my kitchen over a long period of time which were shot with different colored filters. The image of the "acid forrest" used in the collaboration is a beech wood forrest I shot at night in Skåne in the south of Sweden. I illuminated it with fluorescent spotlights, so it was not manipulated in any way. We also added two images of cars which have some kinship with the erotic images, the oyster for instance, and the streak of hair to also have less flattering images. You need to have something ugly as well. It's all about the trade-off for me.

The final selection sent to Weekday is a tight edit I reckoned would work in the context but which also refers to the things that drew me to clothes and fashion in the first place as a teenager by way of music. There are 90's references to the things I liked back then and still very much appreciate; acid, Manchester, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Kurt Cobain, the cover of New Order's Technique and Depeche Mode's iconic rose. For me the collage top is the key piece in the collection; it sums everything neatly. The cars and the black and white images are closer to the visual sphere I've created with my artistry in recent years. They depart from the book 'Closer' which was released in conjunction with my first exhibition at Loyal. It marked the beginning of mine applying a closer approach with the camera, not only to things but also to myself.

All images courtesy of the artist.

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