Simon Høgsberg May 8, 2009Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
Tags: United States
From the series “The Tower of Babel”, New York City
Simon Høgsberg (b. 1976 in Aarhus, Denmark) is working as a freelance photographer in Copenhagen. His first encounter with photography happened in 1997 when he was working as a journalist for a state-funded agency in Aarhus that was producing stories about young people for various Danish media. Writing seemed to him to be too much of a “head-experience”, whereas the work of the photographers he was collaborating with seemed to be a more physical experience that called for action and experimentation. This physical aspect of photography appealed to him, and he soon got a job as a photographer at the agency. In 1999 he went to London to study and practice photography for three years, and in 2002 he started his own freelance business in Copenhagen. Make sure and take a look at his latest project We’re All Gonna Die.”
About the Photograph:
“In 2003 I bought a map of Manhattan and marked out 76 intersections located between 14th street and Central Park. I then connected these intersections with straight lines so that the sentence THE TOWER OF BABEL appeared on the map. My idea was to spend one day in each of the 76 intersections and there photograph situations and motives that expressed the same form of darkness that is present in City of Glass. I wanted the final project to consist of 76 photographs (one photo from each intersection), and I wanted all images to be somehow related to the biblical myth of Babel. I went to New York four times and spent 46 days in 46 different intersections before I realized I no longer believed in the project. The realization came as a relief – I dropped the project immediately after.”
“Ten years ago I read a novel called City of Glass by the American author Paul Auster. In it a professor locks up his child in a dark room for a long period of time in the hope that the child develops a new language – the language of God. The child is damaged by the experience, and the professor is put to jail for his crime. Upon his release from prison the child’s mother hires a private detective to follow him, out of fear that he will attempt to hurt her child again. Every day the professor goes for a walk in the streets of Manhattan. Nothing strange there – until the detective starts drawing the routes the professor is taking and discovers that each route closely resembles a letter in the alphabet. The professor, it turns out, is not just walking at random. He is writing a sentence with his feet, and the sentence is THE TOWER OF BABEL”