Steidl, 2008. First edition. Clothbound hardcover, 48 pp., 27 color illustrations, 160 x 203 mm. Photographs and design by Adam Jeppesen.
Adam Jeppesen’s Wake was assembled over a period of several months in the secluded backwoods of Finland. Taken while traveling on assignment, the photographs document the constantly shifting geography of the artist over the course of seven years. Rather than minister to any notion of Nordic melancholy, the artist reconstructs history into an intuitive, dream-like sequence that reflects the emotional and aesthetic clarity afforded by solitude.
Jeppesen’s large-format photographs are rooted in the tradition of German documentary with its tendency toward classification. This is an impressionistic take on the visual index – one that seeks out the spontaneous and the discarded, the undefined and the uncertain. As the title suggests, the images inhabit that liminal space between darkness and twilight: atmosphere, heavy and thick, flows like a life force through the book, and always manages to obscure as much as it reveals. The specificity of the people, places, and things all fade, leaving light, color, and texture as the only framework, along with the impression that what we see is not necessarily what we are shown.