12 frames infinite 

Louise Bøgelund Saugmann is a Copenhagen based artist, working conceptually with photography to explore nonconcrete perceptions of the spaces we occupy and the temporary moments we live in. Despite the fact that her work is presented as printed still images, her photographs do not depict tangible or literal representation of a place, but rather Saugmann’s practice challenges singular ideas of time, space and fragility. The translucency and depth of her layered images offer expanded interpretations and multifaceted dimensions, which reflect the artist’s attentiveness to the complexity of experiencing the momentary.

For almost a decade Saugmann has been learning and practicing meditation and more recently she has also been connecting it with her photographic practice. Exploring the camera’s potential to make ‘inner’ pictures visible, pointing beyond the surface of existence into an experience of timelessness, spiritual dimensions and significations. Her photographs documenting the sites and spaces of her meditation practice are infused with her contemplative state of mind; these images do not depict human figures, but convey the intense energy of Saugmann’s meditation reflected in her surroundings.

In February this year, during a residency in Finland, Saugmann extended her methodology outdoors into nature. Several times each day she would walk out into the snow-covered forest to be alone and sit quietly in the same spot. During each session she would work her way through the entire twelve frames on a roll of medium format film, unobtrusively photographing her surroundings viewed from her sitting position.

Saugmann’s practice of meditative photography simultaneously focuses on being very present in one spot and seeking beyond the surface of the mind and actual place, to capture the presence of being in that moment. For Saugmann, her camera becomes a natural sensory extension of her body and part of her contemplative state. 12 frames infinite captures on film the slight changes in light, shadows, tones and textures, which in turn resonated with her quiet, calm mood and mind-space.

Saugmann says, “To make the photograph slow and silent, and to dwell on the same subject for a long time, photographing it many times, is to investigate the opposite of the camera’s usual noise and speed that aims to quickly capture a moment. Although I point the lens repeatedly at the same scene, the images are different, as the camera is handheld and natural light changes. These printed images are layers of numerous photos conveying a meditative presence interacting with time, coincidence, and site.”

The resulting works, 12 frames infinite, have grown from Saugmann’s original negatives manipulated and interlaced, allowing the printed artwork to move away from the traditional photograph towards something more open-ended and slightly abstract, with elements of painterly expression.

Text by Kath Fries