Anja Niemi: In Character

Thames & Hudson. May 2019. 240p. photos. ISBN 9780500545119. Tr. PHOTOG
This compact but comprehensive and handsomely designed title offers a career-to-date summary of the work of Norwegian photographer Niemi (b. 1976). Merging self-portraiture with performance art, Niemi places herself in staged environments and inhabits fictional personas of her own creation, contexts for her to be, in her words, both voyeur and subject. Her stagings evoke film stills and stock film characters (the cowboy, the starlet), and Niemi cites the psychologically complex, startling imagery of directors Ingmar Bergman, Wim Wenders, and David Lynch among her influences. The charged scenes she creates allow the artist the opportunity to explore questions of identity, gender, and the multiplicity of selves within each individual. A perceptive essay and illuminating interview with Niemi by Max Houghton (Univ. of the Arts, London) add value.
VERDICT An excellent introduction to the intriguing work of a talented contemporary photographer.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing