Barnål

jenny marie hviding

Influenced by her artistic upbringing, Jenny Marie Hviding questions and challenges the world around her through geography, politics, and social practices. She is interested in moving beyond the gallery, breaking rules, and pushing the boundaries of what is expected of her as a woman and as an artist. With a background in dance and performance, her work melds installation, video, movement, and sound. After travelling for six years living between Barcelona, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Brazil, Paris, Lithuania, and Poland, she finished her studies at Bilder Nordic School of Photography in Oslo in June of 2015. She is currently continuing her education at Oslo Photo Art School and will pursue a BA in Fine Arts this upcoming fall in Berlin.

 

How did your shoot with Teresa go?

 

My intentions for this shoot were to explore the female body in nature, combined with the notions of being naked and uncovered. ‘Barnål’ means bare needle in Norwegian, and I wanted to work around the subject of its own definition; being naked and uncovered. That feeling of masterfulness and being able to just sit down and have a moment to yourself to breathe, and just be. We played around in the forest for hours, exploring different locations and ways of expressing our freedom. With all the troubles lurking around in our minds, but letting nature wipe out the loudest noise. So I packed some fabric, my camera and we met in the woods just outside the city centre, where we were running around. Working with Teresa is always so refreshing. I remember the first time I met her; she opened the door in her bathrobe, smoking a cigarette. She took it off, super naked underneath and we started the shoot at her apartment. Teresa is such a free person, who loves life and loves to live. This is always alluring while being in a city (Oslo) that still kind of has a small town mentality.

 

Can we photograph the female body in a more powerful way?

 

Yes, as photographers (regardless of gender) making images, we have a huge responsibility in how we influence and change the notion of the female body. By stopping the objectification, the sexualising, and by starting to be more conscious about your own and the society’s motivation behind showing the naked female body, we could come a long way. I also think it’s about time we take back our rights to take pictures however the fuck we want, without having a middle aged white male telling me how I should look to please his needs. I think we are already handling the way of photographing the female body in a more powerful way; but there is always more work to do. We have to remember that we live in an image based world. The next generation and the society as a whole will get hugely influenced by what we put out there. So by using the social media such as Instagram, it influences our views and ways how we photograph. Also the social media has started many important discussions; from the amazing Rupi, to #freethenipple, or Pussy Riot leading the punkrock movement onwards in an female gazed vision, and all the girl-gaze out there. The list could go on, and I’m so grateful for being able to use Instagram to be inspired and having the possibility to express myself (almost) as freely as I would like.

 

What inspires you?

 

No specific order, just on top of my mind; rain, travelling, smell of pine and figs, making food, sharing with friends, sex, taking/making pictures, singing, reading, dancing. Making a good connection with a new person, walk around listening to music, explore something, adventures, the ocean and the beach, old people, yoga, meditation, love. Learning new things, light and the expressions of light, going to a bunch of art galleries, surfing and making something with your hands.

 

How would do you define beauty?

 

Well the definition of beauty if you look it up is: ‘a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight’ … For me, it’s when you meet a new person, someone that comes into your life and you can’t really imagine your world without this person, that is true beauty to me. Someone that you can have adventures with, to run around as fast as you can and just be free. To breathe easily and look at life in your own way. Mostly I find beauty in people or places that society labels different. I love the misfits, the freaks, the ‘abnormal’ and weird. Beauty to me is all about charisma, all about the personality. By not being yourself you become boring so quickly; it’s neither attractive, nor inspiring. I think adorableness is fast and most likely found in everybody if you look just a little closer; maybe the person next to you is pure magic. My answer to your question I guess is that I find life beautiful. And how you look at that is up to each human individual to define, and my gaze and my aesthetics are influenced by each person I meet. Luckily.

 

Film or digital?

 

Definitely film! I love the little surprise of taking a picture you cannot see until the scanning process. In a society that is obsessed with images and fast digital evolution, there’s something little secretive about using film. You plan your shots better, and it gives a whole another level of light understanding. Also I really love making things with my hand, so by using the analogue techniques I feel like forwarding the handcrafted tradition.

 

What makes you happy?

 

It’s taken me 27 years, but I’ve found out that balance is the key. I guess everybody knew this, but it takes time to find out what truly makes you happy. For me it’s been a long process of slowing down and keeping in mind that everybody is living in their own matrix and that society is just an illusion. So by having good peeps around me, trying to live life freely and by having a critical look at the society and the frames they have created, I find happiness. I guess I’m the happiest when I feel free.