Background

Boris Eldagsen’s photomedia work investigates the unconscious.

Despite over 200 years of psychology, the unconscious remains as vague and powerful as the gods it emancipated itself from. As a reservoir of our past experiences, it stores urges and feelings that rationally we have no access to. However some images can open these doors, trigger emotions and unlock memories.

Using archetypes and symbolic acts, Eldagsen’s work speaks the language of the unconcious and communicates on a dreamlike level. His visual poetry transports the viewer between the sublime and the uncanny – where the attributes of photography, painting, theatre and film unite.

Technique

Eldagsen only works at night, with minimal equipment, an in-camera approach and without digital manipulation.

Like a moth, he roams the streets searching for light, practicing what he has termed Inverse Street Photographyinstead of exploring stories, a place or a person, he hijacks and transforms what he sees in front of his camera to become a symbol for the timeless workings of the mind.

Eldagsen also stages images with models to create a portrait of the Collective Unconscious. To develop ideas and impulses for the shoot, he maps the overlapping areas of his and his model’s unconscious. Then he follows the dynamics of the shoot to move deeper down the rabbit hole.

Installation

THE POEMS is an ongoing meta-series of single images (numbered or titled) and single videos. Eldagsen presents this work as site-specific installations, often using LIMBOS.

THE LIMBOS are defined combinations of wallpaper, objects, photographs and video, to create an experience in which reality becomes fluid and visitors can walk into an inner space.

THE SCHOOLS are conceptual video works and explorations of a timeless human phenomenon: the urge to lose oneself. In referring to this phenomenon as Mysticism (Religion), Transpersonality (Psychology), Desire to Escape (Huxley) or Transgression (Bataille), there has always been a redemptive mode to being human. This phenomenon can come in a positive or negative form, upward or downward. The list is endless, depending on time, culture and imagination.

Portrait © Katrin Koenning

Portrait © Katrin Koenning

Bio

Berlin-based German artist Boris Eldagsen studied photography and visual arts at the Art Academy of Mainz (Vladimir Spacek & Klaus Vogelgesang), conceptual art and intermedia at the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (Miloš Šejn & Milan Knížák) and fine art the Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication Hyderabad, India (Laxma Goud).

In addition, he studied philosophy at the Universities of Cologne and Mainz. 2013, he participated in a Roger Ballen Masterclass.

His photomedia work has been shown internationally in institutions and festivals including Fridericianum Kassel, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, CCP Melbourne, ACP Sydney, DTDF, EMAF Osnabrück, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Edinburgh Art Festival, FORMAT Festival Derby, Encontros da Imagem Braga, FestFoto Porto Alegre, Photolux Biennale Lucca, Singapore International Photography Festival, PhotoVisa Krasnodar, Noorderlicht Groningen, Voies Off Festival Arles, Media Forum Moscow, WRO Media Art Biennale Wroclaw, Biennale Le Havre and Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth.

Since 2004, Boris has lectured internationally at universities and art academies, such as Centre for IdeasVictorian College of the Arts / University Melbourne, Photography Studies College Melbourne, RMIT University Melbourne and Monash University Melbourne, Akademie für Bildende Künste Mainz, Hochschule Furtwangen and Escola d’Art i Superior de Disseny Olot. In addition he has given workshops at institutions, such PhotoWerkBerlinFotografie Forum Frankfurt, Westlicht Wien and Centre for Contemporary Photography Melbourne.

He has been awarded the Prix Voies Off in Arles (2013) and the Photography Show Award at the FORMAT Festival in Derby (2015). Since 2014, Boris is a member of Deutsche Fotografische Akademie.

Check out his collaborative work with Australian artist Natascha Stellmach on BORIS+NATASCHA.

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