By MILA FIGUET
"I try to not get too angry or stressed, because it’s obvious that it’s harder to be a women in this scene, like it is in most places."
Who are you?
My name is Agnes, I am 22 years old. I grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark, but I am currently living in Berlin. I like telling stories through photography, writing and filmmaking.
You chose to become a filmmaker. Why is that? Tell me about your alchemy with moving image and photography.
I’ve photographed since I got my second phone when I was 12 and it had 3.2 megapixel. It was crazy, so sharp. Then, my parents got a reflex Canon camera and I kind of just took over it from the beginning. Doing small shoots in my room with random stuff or my friends. I also always traveled a lot with my family, and then with friends and on my own. I liked to document people and places.
As a young teenager I discovered the Internet and I quickly found people who were interested in the same things as I was. I started sharing my stuff and collaborating with other girls from different parts of Denmark. My first big photo project was the two-year long KALEJDOSKOPISKE that I did with six other girls. The concept was that we every week had a new theme and then we each had to post a picture within the theme on our individual weekday. It was the first creative community I was a part of. It was a huge inspiration for me to see how as a 15 year old you can create your own concept, where 1000 people follow you, support you, and give you feedback.
In 2016 I attended and worked as the assistant in the photo/art class at the art school Krabbesholm. It’s a preparatory school, where you live and work with 115 other young people for half a year or a full year. The teachers there are also artists. It’s a whole community in the countryside with an amazing energy from all the creative people living and working together day and night.
Besides exhibiting my photographs and starting to print my work, I got really into film there. I made my first documentary, which I exhibited as a double-screen installation in the gallery Four Boxes.
Now I’m showing the documentary at screenings in Berlin and working on a film about my mom and her relationship to her body. I really like the moving images and all its opportunities!
Name 5 filmmakers that have always inspired you.
Crystal Moselle, because she made the incredible documentary The Wolfpack.
Lea Glob and Mette Carla Albrechtsen for their documentary Venus – let’s talk about sex.
Richard Linklater for his long term projects like Before sunrise and Boyhood.
Producer Sigrid Dyekjær, because she is so talented and also I met her at a workshop earlier this year and she is a perfect example of girl power.
I also wanna mention Julie Andem for writing and direction the genius series SKAM!
How do you feel about the endless flow of images, collages and photographs that exist on the Internet? Do you believe that it could change the usual photographer status?
Well it must change the usual status of the photographer somehow. But most of the pictures on social media for example are just about documenting one and one’s friends eating brunch or being drunk. Just because you post 10 pictures a day on Instagram doesn’t make you a photographer. And then there are people who would normally not get into photography but because it’s so easy nowadays, they start exploring it with their iPhone and they end up finding interesting motives. I think that’s great! I don’t like the idea of a closed art world only for the elite.
I think that people who are artists today are the one choosing to be it. The ones choosing to take themselves and their work seriously, and the ones who fight to get their work out to people. That can be frustrating sometimes. It took me years to take myself seriously and it wasn’t until last year that I finally made a website for my work.
But in the end I try not to think about it too much. It’s not going to change what I do. I won’t stop photographing just because a lot of people do it.
How do you feel being a female artist in the 21st century? What do you think about feminism in general?
I try to not get too angry or stressed, because it’s obvious that it’s harder to be a women in this scene, like it is in most places. All my female artist friends have experienced being judged by their gender at a job interview or networking. Often the men aren’t even ashamed nor trying to hide it, they just say it: women are weaker and more likely to break down and stuff like that.
I rather want to answer that I feel good being a woman artist right now. And it’s true. I feel like the female artists I meet are very aware of the fact that we should help each other out in this scene with a lot of men. Thus, we are good at collaborating and encouraging each other.
I’ve noticed that my male artist friends are way better at taking money for their work than me and my female artist friends are. That is something I’m working on and also talking to my female friends about. We should be better at knowing our worth. But again, we are aware and that makes us stronger.
I also see that my work appeals more to women than men, and I think that’s a shame, because I’m not making “girly art”; I’m just telling stories. There is still this thing that I already noticed when I was a kid; girls can relate to a main character in books no matter if it’s a girl or a boy, but boys think that books with a female main character are a “chick flick”. That has too change.
What about Berlin – is it the perfect city to live?
I moved to Berlin in 2015 to get new input and inspiration. I lived here for eight perfectly chaotic months. I lived in eight different places, met a lot of people, photographed and wrote all the time and felt very alive. I returned to Denmark in 2016 for a year to attend and work as an art class assistant at the art school Krabbesholm, but now I’m back in Berlin since New Years and planning on staying here for… who knows how long. I love this city! I like that I feel home but at the same time I don’t get too comfortable, meaning that it never gets boring, because I will always feel a bit strange being in such a big city with people from all over the world. But Berlin has these contrasts; it’s big and also sometimes feels too big. It’s hard to find your place, because you feel like you’re a part of a huge group of people and artists, but at the same time there is a lot of small communities. You quickly find your “local” places, where you know the shopkeepers or bartenders and they know you.
It works well for me right now to be a bit lost in a city like this. I know it would be easier to be based in Copenhagen where I know more people that I could collaborate with and I would be more visible. But right now I like to live in a city that challenges me and keeps me curious. That’s not the city I grew up in. I keep finding new interesting spots in Berlin and it’s never boring to just walk around and look at people with my camera in my hand.
All documentation of the artist's work are her courtesy.