Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power. So said Oscar Wilde. But power can manifest itself in many ways. With the Danish photographic duo, Vestholm, power rests in the realm of the imagination – undoubtedly the most erogenous zone. Just as we eat first with our eyes, so arousal begins with an image. That image may be tangible or chimerical, desire and fantasy being virtually interchangeable. Marianne Vesterled and Tue Holmgaard’s image world is mysterious and seductive, though their eroticism is underscored by dark humour and elements of the surreal. In this, their first book, each photograph is an invitation to a private performance. A story is unfolding, but each frame represents just a fragment. As Diane Arbus observed, ‘A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.’
Tue Holmgaard (b. 1971) and Marianne Vesterled (b. 1975), the artists known as Vestholm, demonstrate the creative, artistic and intellectual possibilities to be found in partnership, trust and love. They met in mid-life and embarked on a journey together, exploring a mutual interest in the complex aesthetic terrains of seduction and passion. With Tue behind the camera, and Marianne in character, they mesh two creative minds into a singular voice.
‘It is our hope that our work will give rise to reflection and questions. That the boundaries between the beautiful and the ugly, the virtuous and the wicked, the strong and the weak, the innocent and the guilty will be experienced as unclear and unsettling. Or, better still, as nuanced and mysterious. It is in these spaces, where we lack solid ground beneath our feet, that the seeds of play and growth are to be found.’
– Marianne Vesterled and Tue Holmgaard