Nadja Bournonville

Project of the Fellowship

“2018 is the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War. My grandmother’s aunt was one of the most useless spies the Germans had recruited during the First World War. After all, her career ended before it had even begun. Six weeks after Eva de Bournonville had reached London there was a knock on her hotel room door. Scotland Yard had come to arrest her. In court she declared “I just wanted a little bit of adventure”. In my work, the history of photography, family stories, memories, literature and psychology play an important role. A photographer is always also a witness, a spy and a creator of alternative realities. The camera, whether analogue or digital, has only limited capabilities of telling a “genuine” story, but it can step in and take memory’s place.”

Nadja Bournonville

Onus Probandi, from the series: Intercepted, 2017, © Nadja Bournonville
Potassium Ferrocyanide, from the series: Intercepted, 2017, © Nadja Bournonville
it becomes small and insignificant, from the series: Intercepted, 2017, © Nadja Bournonville
Recommend the Project

Nadja Bournonville

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.

Curator’s Statement

Nadja Bournonville’s fantastical image cosmos is shaped by both her own personal experiences and historical events, based on which she composes scenes featuring artfully staged figures, spaces and lighting effects presented in large-format individual images. Carefully arranged on the wall, these pictures with their otherworldly ambience suggest to the viewer narratives charged with diverse associations. Bournonville experiments in her photographs with double exposures and colour filters, or sometimes leaves traces of burnt areas in the negative visible in the final image. Her installations also include drawings that magically transport the viewer into a grotesque-looking dream world. Bournonville’s pictorial repertoire resonates with forms of expression and iconographies found in Symbolist, Dadaist and Surreal art.

Ingo Taubhorn
Curator Haus der Photographie / Deichtorhallen Hamburg

© Photo: Ingo Taubhorn

Selected Publications

A conversion act | Fotohof Verlag, 2012
To be Undone | Galerie Gabriel Rolt, 2010
Amor Omnia Vincit | Pierogi Gallery,2009
One for every wish | Pierogi Gallery, 2008

Selected Exhibitions

Blindfell | Centrum för fotografi, CFF, Stockholm, 2016 
De Oculis | The Josephinum Museum, Vienna, Austria, 2016 
gute aussichten 2013/2014 | with 'A Conversion Act'  in Haus der Photographie / Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Goethe-Instituts in Washington DC, Nicosia, Mexico City and  Mailand, OBLICK Festival, Strasbourg, Museum Villa Stuck, München, 2014

Exhibition view, works from the series „Blindfell“, Fotohof Salzburg, 2015, © Nadja Bournonville

Meet the other Fellows

Thomas Albdorf