The artistic practice of Lise Johansson unfolds somewhere between the conscious and unconscious mind – it exists both in the realms of reality and fantasy.

Johansson investigates notions of authenticity and challenges the classical order and structures with which photos are usually constructed. In her studio she edits and merges different photographic elements into final compositions depicting worlds of dreams and emotions, association and longing. These sceneries hold atmospheres as light and breezy as Hockney’s pastel paintings or as gloomy as Tarkovsky’s filmic universe. They make us question not only how we perceive each other and the world, which surrounds us, but also how we connect with the self, the mind and its various inherent potentials.

In all of Johansson’s work themes of identity and belonging come up, take for example the series Hearth, where photos of doll-like humans are superimposed into environments consisting of architecture models, planning future homes to come. This is not an illustration generated to make potential buyers relate better, this is a slightly unsettling juxtaposition, confusing us with its scale and perspective and thereby making us wonder about the unknown parts of the images.

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The mood is set, and like in the 50’s television anthology The Twilight Zone, we don’t quite know what eerie twists and turns are waiting for us around the corner.

Johansson allows us to imagine, and in the end leaves the final interpretation open to the viewer’s own composition.

Lise Johansson (b. 1985) is from Sæby, Denmark, and currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is educated from The Media College Denmark in 2016, and has travelled the world extensively as part of her photographic practice. Johansson has won several prizes, including the Sony World Photography Awards.

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