The Artful Dodger on Erlend Mork
When I was in High School, I had this weird habit/circumstance/bad-&-odd-luck of dating Boys who thought they could want to be Vampires. Unfortunately, this lifestyle was presented only after I accepted an invitation to some cornball Science Fiction movie or ‘dinner’ at the height of Dungeons and Dragons’ sophistication: Applebees.
Now that I’ve grown older, I’ve become more questioning of supernatural beings. Batman is still my hero, Superman is still kind of a loveable yutz, and Vampires can still bite it. And, while I didn’t give Twilight a chance, the only Vampires I would invite into my home remain to be Bela Lugosi and the cast of The Lost Boys. (Preferably, at the same time and, preferably, with Corey Feldmen-as he was.)
However, none of this pushes aside my love for the gloriously disturbing supernatural. Enter Erlend Mørk, who has been awarded this week’s Creepy-Creeperson award (which is no small task considering I viewed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and A Nightmare on Elm Street previously). Mørk’s photography could be charred with several adjectives, but I’m gonna go with ‘frozen selenium.’ Selenium is my favourite tone for black & white photographs because it offers up a glazed type of blue which enables the image to appear ‘colder’ than originally intended. Paired with the word ‘frozen’, selenium, might be redundant, but it also maintains the metaphors in Mørk’s work.
Mørk’s from Norway, a fairly young Artist (in typical age references), a self-proclaimed & self-taught double-exposure Photographer, and he doesn’t honestly care to describe his own work. The latter, I think, is brilliant because I’ve never believed in guiding someone’s opinion of my work either. Art is a magnificent way of comprehending life without the straight-away arguing and judging because Art’s initial language is silence. A viewer must become exactly that-a viewer-in order to interpret what s/he is looking at, hearing, touching, etc.
While Erlend Mørk may have few qualms about the way his work is perceived, he certainly has talent in texturizing and symbolizing photographs. His methods of double-exposures employ a circulation of layered and stitched frames accompanying each other to formulate an over-all surrealistic image. Mørk’s End Credits is a very solidified portrayal of these working methods. Absolutely, the image can be viewed as characteristically dark, but it can also be construed as scenically frozen. I totally dig Mørk’s ability to sneak in the senses of voice, touch, and taste. A pointed comment on existence may be appropriate when thinking about the work, but there is also an almost three-dimensional reality in the photographic itself. The colour and the representation, in End Credits, are out of normal human standards which gives the viewer a chance to concentrate on what the subjects are experiencing (you know, behind that selenium tone).
Experiment VII is a pretty powerful photograph on a several levels. The obvious being, Mørk’s layered exposures as means of creating the work. Textures and the plotting of textures enable them to birth themselves as their own experiments. And, finally, if you wanna get all artistically political up in here, isn’t our entire society an experiment? Objectively, what more are humans than hunters, gatherers, killers, and baby-makers? Erlend Mørk’s photograph of Experiment VII has all of those realities, along with a God-like (not any specific God, mind you) vision.
Ironically, my best work of Mørk’s is his self portrait on the informational page of his website because it reminds me of a Vampire. It’s stark and contrasty, which exemplifies my favourite type of Photography. The image, being a long-exposure, only increases my coveting of the piece and, in my opinion, snidely punctuates Mørk’s wish to escape description of his Art. Artistically, it’s my favourite because there’s no need to go on describing it. It’s beautiful enough to hold an entire conversation with my own thoughts and wicked enough not to share.
So, yes, Erlend Mørk won my little Creepy-Creeperson award (it’s a good thing, I swear) this week, as well as a bookmarked page in my Art files. I find the man brilliant, stark, dreamily direct, and one bad-ass manipulator. Hey, we’re only talkin’ ’bout Mørk! Then we can dig it!