with Maiken Kildegaard, photographer
Copenhagen-based photographer and artist Maiken Kildegaard met with Cindy Fonvig to reveal more about her visual musical universe. She’s gotten close up with Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Baby Dee, Teho Teardo, and The Fall’s Mark E Smith and legends Sparks (all spoken about here with photos). Enjoy, y’all!
Showing in Copenhagen, Kildegaard is the first of several amazing artists showing work in local recordshops during Oct-Nov.
And with that comes a special shout-out to Maiken and BEAT Records for agreeing to be the first to launch the ▼-Vibe autumn festival a spotlight on the visual vibe in local recordshops and the amazing artists whose work evokes a real connection with physical format music.
See Kildegaard’s original album cover artwork for Danish musician and author Martin Hall – a triptych (LP/CD/MC) release of A Brief Summary (2018) in BEAT recordstore (10 Oct – 26 Oct 2020).
Maiken Kildegaard, photographer
When people go to your Instagram what can they expect to see?
My content on IG is rather personal and a bit fragmented. It’s foremost an occasional outlet for me, consisting of a mixture of experiments with photography, words, states of mind, photomontage, collage/mixed media, videos, gifs, and so on. It’s partly about identity, the subliminal, longing, secrets, dualism, intuition, enigmas and questions never asked…
I love to experiment with make-believe and the borderlands between dream and reality.
I’ve been following you a long time. You have gone from photography, to collage work and mixed media?
I haven’t really given my use of or approach to Instagram much thought, it’s just a platform I use when I feel like it, but it’s true that I’ve recently shown a lot of my collage-work, and at the same time I’ve been more reluctant to display my art-photography because I want to save it for exhibitions and projects I’m working on. I don’t want to reveal everything beforehand.
The analog process of photomontage and collages is very therapeutic for me, as the ever emotional and sensitive being, I am spending quite some anxious time in my home trying to cope with existence, so it’s a meditative stream of conscious and state of mind I enter with that and I feel the results deserve to be shared. They are their own little entities.
But again: My Instagram is a personal outlet, not a display-case for my art-photography per se … it’s a brief insight and reflection of some facets and fragments of my life and mind (with emphasis on some – it’s kind of crowded up there and I keep most things private …)
For more of my photo art and especially my music-related photography please feel welcome on my site: maikenkildegaard.com – I tend to post more of that content there.
You have worked with – and visually portrayed – a variety of musicians like Baby Dee, Brian Eno and Sparks?
Yes it’s true. I’ve had the great honor of working with and portraying some of my favorite artists, and I’ve even gotten to travel quite a bit because of it which has indirectly led to some of my other personal photo artwork and projects.
I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and try to get the most out of whatever adventures I’m on.
I’ve initially been working with different music-related projects in Copenhagen. Amongst them mostly avantgarde radical high culture organization artFREQ. I treasure many memorable moments from the past 6 years. But to single out a few:
2017 I went with the organizers of Dokument#2, to Brian Eno’s private studio in London to follow up on the documentation of the process of the art project between Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, and Ebe Oke, which took its beginning at their one week visit to CPH Head Library in 2016. It was an absolutely joyful experience.
Eno is such a witty, creative, and kind man. It was genuinely lovely to visit, have tea and cake together, hearing Eno tell stories, play his favorite LP’s and show how he programs music and so on … it blew my mind! What a sweetheart he is! And I love his music, from Roxy to his ambient works. So it’s one of my to date best experiences. Just wonderful!
Also got invited on a crazy journey with my beloved friends in Parzival (RU/DK) to Saint Petersburg the same year … (my oh my! How did I survive that?) I’ve done quite a bit of work with them. Also performed in one of their recent music videos. One never knows what happens in their company!
Baby Dee is also a good friend, so she has been a victim of my crimes many a time. She’s promised me her old tricycle for when I grow up! I am one lucky girl! The profile picture of me is in her honor. She knows why!
I’ve also enjoyed portraying Blixa Bargeld/ Einstürzende Neubauten on several occasions in CPH. After the third or fourth time taking photos (for artFREQ), he came over to me to shake my hand after the show. I guess he had finally gotten used to me lurking about in the shadows with my camera whenever he’s in Copenhagen.
It reminded me a bit of a big grumpy cat who finally decides to recognize one’s presence after one has been living with it for years and years. So that was delightful!
I also love his project with Teho Teardo, which was my first concert-documentation which by chance got me involved with artFREQ, so that’s a memorable one too…
When in London I also found myself photographing one of the last The Fall concerts – the very last one they did at the legendary 100 Club, which was a very special encounter; Little me in a mosh pit, trying to juggle my camera between I don’t know how many sweaty, jumping, headbanging (brutal) gentlemen ( a special thank you goes out to the young man who so bravely acted as my human shield.
Otherwise, I would probably have been squished to baby mosh and gotten a black-eye or a bloody nose – almost wish I would have had a battle wound to flaunt).
I feel lucky to have gotten to see them live, though it was heart-wrenching to see Mark E. Smith so ill. He died of his cancer only about 6 months later. What a spirit to be giving his all ‘till curtain Fall!
One person I’ve been particularly fond of meeting and getting to know in recent years is Jazz singer, the one and only Patty Waters (US), who has become a personal friend of mine.
After she did her first appearance in quite a bit of years in Copenhagen, I’ve been invited to London and Holland by her, to stay with her and document her concerts and we have had such wonderful and joyful times together. I love her and wish she would perform more often. She belongs on a stage!
My life is a patchwork of coincidences. I’m always happy to go on new adventures whenever the possibility arises. The stories my little eyes could tell! It’s been lot’s of fun and hard work, but I’m looking forward to more! Bring it on!
I know you’re working on your first music-related video?
Yes, indeed. I’ve been commissioned to do a series of poetic videos for the UK singer, drummer and poet Alex Rex ( Alex Nielson, founder of Trembling Bells, drummer for Baby Dee, Current 93, Shirley Collins, and many more) who’s birthing a Spoken word album next year.
I’m very excited about the process and I’m definitely up for doing more video in the future. I’m working on my own personal film-projects too, which has been a long time underway. So hopefully I won’t succumb to the big Unknown just yet! I’m not ready!
What is your next photography project?
I’m doing quite a bit of different things – but to mention a few of them besides the video-projects:
I’ve just initiated a collaboration with danish literature professor Neal Ashley Conrad Thing, who specializes in Marcel Proust. From this fall onwards, I’m taking on a direct photographic dialog with Proust’s huge life work: “In search of lost time” (1913). We also do talks together on the subject; My (previous) photography in relation to Proust.
How the works by coincidence correspond, communicate and to some extent mirror and resonate with each other across the borders of time (and eventually I will exhibit new work partly related to this.)
Secondly, I’ve just finished a handful of artworks for danish musician and author Martin Hall. (The process could have gotten me arrested, or even worse: killed! But luckily it didn’t!
Once again a survivor against all odds!) I’m very excited about it, and now you are too, I hope!
I’m happy to be exhibiting the original cover artwork for Hall’s triptych (LP/CD/ MC/) release, A Brief Summary, (2018) in BEAT recordstore during the next 2 weeks (10 Oct – 26 Oct 2020). (At the time of doing this interview) I haven’t seen the finished artworks yet – they will come fresh out of the printmakers’ laboratory, ready for the V-Vibe Festival!
Last but not least I’m working and exhibiting with danish actress Lotte Arnsbjerg on several of her projects with ‘The Art of Transformation’… we just had some absolutely magical events during the end of August and the beginning of September called Proust Sanseteket (Proust Sensoryteque) More of these events will happen during 2021 The art of TRANSFORMATION – Transformation Unlimited – can’t wait!
I guess that’s the end of this interview then… Thanks so much for inviting me to be part of ▼-Vibe Festival. It’s been a pleasure!