airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar
Sign In
Anja Niemi, Intermission, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, Intermission, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Save to wishlist

Delve Into the Intriguing Works of Norwegian Photographer Anja Niemi

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 19 May 2017
Inspired by the introverted Italian actress Eleonora Duse, Anja Niemi’s photographic series, The Woman Who Never Existed is steeped in theatrical mystery and allegorical connotations.

The celebrated Norwegian photographer who is known for her elaborately constructed work, imbued with cinematic narrative and the exploration of the self, tackles the role of ‘acting’ in her latest work.

Anja Niemi, The Bedroom, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Bedroom, 2017 | © Anja Niemi, courtesy The Little Black Gallery

As with her previous work, Niemi works alone to produce her photographs, which she stages, acts in and photographs. In, The Woman Who Never Existed , which premiered at Photofairs San Fransisco, and is currently on view at The Little Black Gallery in London, Niemi takes on the guise of a fictional actress who only exists on the stage.

Anja Niemi, The Crying Circus, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Crying Circus, 2017 | © Anja Niemi, courtesy The Little Black Gallery

The concept for the intriguing photographs came from a quote by the famously private 20th century actress Eleonora Duse, who once said to a journalist, ‘away from the stage I do not exist’. Using this as her starting point, Niemi has crafted a body of work that deconstructs the act of portrayal and how our existence is quantified through other people; in the case of an actress, an audience.

Anja Niemi, The Flower Room, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Flower Room, 2017 | © Anja Niemi, courtesy The Little Black Gallery

Inspired by the film work of Lynch and Bergman, London-based Niemi has gained international recognition and acclaim for her photographs, which echo the cinematic aesthetic of her heroes. Not to be confused as self-portraits, her detailed and often ambiguous work feels like the beginning of a story that as a viewer, we have to finish. A challenge and a role we’re more than happy to partake in.

Anja Niemi, Last Act, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, Last Act, 2017 | © Anja Niemi, courtesy The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Toy Solider, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Toy Solider, 2017 | © Anja Niemi, courtesy The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Butterfly, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Butterfly, 2017 | © Anja Niemi, courtesy The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Stage, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Stage, 2017 | © Anja Niemi, courtesy The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, Irma, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, Irma, 2017 | © Anja Niemi, courtesy The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Woman Who Never Existed, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, The Woman Who Never Existed, 2017 | © Anja Niemi, courtesy The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, Scarlett, 2017 | © Anja Niemi/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Anja Niemi, Scarlett, 2017 | © Anja Niemi, courtesy The Little Black Gallery

Anja Niemi: The Woman Who Never Existed is at The Little Black Gallery, 13A Park Walk, London, SW10 0AJ until May 25, 2017.