André Viking Andersen – Alumnus GS 14 – Denmark
What have you been doing since graduating from the ICP General Studies in Photography program?
I moved back home to Copenhagen three months ago and have continued working on my projects, while applying for different exhibitions and magazines.
What impact has the experience of going through the ICP program had on you?
A huge impact. I learned a lot technically and practically. Most importantly I came closer to finding my own visual language and became clearer in how I want to use the medium. All the great facilities and resources that ICP and New York have to offer also helped broaden my view on art in general. It’s important to know what’s out there and be aware of the different processes in order to find your own ways. Photography is a universal language yet we each interpret it differently – that’s why I believe being in a community where different nationalities and cultures are mixed together is important for any photographer.
Is there anything that has surprised you subsequent to graduation?
I graduated from a similar one-year program in Copenhagen a year before going to ICP, but yet again it surprises me how much slower and harder a process it is to make work when you’re not in a school and when you need to do other things to financially support yourself. Though I believe that the slow and more thoughtful process can be very helpful and needed sometimes in order to make strong work.
Your series, Closed Eyes, seems to be a place where the human mind intercepts the natural world. Can you talk a little bit about your interest in this subject and how the project has developed since its inception?
I have a hard time being specific since it’s still ongoing, but I’m interested in how certain ideas are shared throughout different mythologies and various belief systems. Symbols and rituals have long been part of human nature as a bridge to access what our senses cannot. In the series I use both studio work and documentary fieldwork as a personal investigation of the supernatural.
We all at some point in our lives believed in things beyond our senses and some of us still do just more or less than we used to and I think that is interesting.
What would you say to people who are thinking about applying to the program?
The decision is really up to the individual to make. If you decide on applying, my advice is that you should be willing to work hard, take full advantage of all the facilities and keep experimenting. Sometimes when I was struggling, it helped me to remember that I was in a school – in the process of learning. I personally learned a lot from speaking about my own and other people’s work. Discussions and critiques can be really inspiring.
As long as you take your work seriously, I wouldn’t be afraid to do what feels right either–if you feel like painting, then paint.