7.12 2019 – 1.2 2020
Thursday – Saturday
12.00 – 17.00
Nadja Bournonville is the 2018 Lewenhaupt scholar. Read more about the award here.
The first world war came to an end in 1918, it was a war in which the aunt of Bournonville’s grandmother played a very small part as one of the most useless spies recruted by the Germans. Eva de Bournonville, a Swedish lady descending from a well known and respected Danish family of ballet choreographers and singers found herself in serious economic trouble at the outbreak of the war. When she was contacted by a Mr. Smith and offered a simple way, without too much effort involved, as he claimed, to get out of debt and earn a lot of money by working for the German Secret Service in London, she accepted.
A photographer is also a witness, a spy and a creator of alternative realities. The camera, digital or analog has it’s limits in telling a ”true” story but photography has the ability to step in, take the place of memories, overwrite and reshape a series of events. Through photography some things become visible, others disappear. A bit like the secret ink commonly used by spies during the early days of the first world war, treated in the right way it develops completely but looked at with the wrong methods it becomes unreadable and confusing. In the autumn of 2016 Nadja Bournonville spent ten days in London, searching through the files regarding Eva de Bournonville at the National Archives in Kew. Everything from letters to trial protocols are kept there, although all the facts seemingly lie in those 100 year old files, the true reason for Eva’s crimes still remain blurry. The story of this fortunately misfortunate female spy was the starting point for the intricate web spun by the images in the series ”Intercepted”.
Nadja Bournonville, born 1983 in Sweden, based in Berlin. Bournonville graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2006 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art photography, she completed her MA studies in 2012 at the Leipzig Visual Academy, graduating with the work ”A Conversion Act”, an exhibition and book project based around the elusive diagnoses of hysteria. Bournonville has worked as a freelance artist represented by Pierogi Gallery, New York, since 2008 with several exhibitions in Europe and abroad. In 2013 she was part of the touring exhibition ”Gute Aussichten”. In 2014 Bournonville received a grant from Stiftung Kunstfond and worked for two years on ”Blindfell”, a series concerning the limitations of sight and it’s relationship with analog photography. She has published five books, two of which together with Fotohof edition, based in Salzburg. Bournonville‘s project „Intercepted“ was selected for the Recommended fellowship in 2017.