Six degrees of Copenhagen
July 19, 2016 5:01 PM   Subscribe

Jens Juul, a photographer based in Copenhagen, Denmark, recently won the 2016 Magnum Photography Award in the Portrait category for his his work Six Degrees of Copenhagen (some photos nsfw). In an interview, he explains that Six Degrees of Copenhagen is about breaking boundaries.

"First, I break a social boundary by approaching people on the street and invite them to participate. At the same time I need to get the participant to break a boundary in inviting me and my audience (personalised by my camera) into their most private chambers. Finally, the audience has to break the boundary of - via the medium of photography - suddenly becoming so intimate with a stranger's world." Each of the persons portrayed in “Six Degrees of Copenhagen” is part of a chain of friends, and the title comes from the notion of "six degrees of separation," first discussed in the short story Chains [English translation; PDF] by Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy.

This is not Juul's first award-winning portrait series. Hair was a similar project carried out in hair salons in Denmark. "What I do is that I portray people, mainly in everyday situations. It is not the kind of portraits that you have taken as a family where everyone is dressed up and nicely combed. Instead I try to get behind the facade, to get so close to people that they eventually let their guard down."

His personal Instagram account showcases his current work.
posted by sockermom (4 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
"Chains": "One person loves me, another hates me. Why? Why the love and the hatred? There are two people who do not understand one another, but I'm supposed to understand both. How? Someone is selling grapes in the street while my young son is crying in the other room ... "

Such a neat image of oneself as a point where social relations happen mysteriously to intersect ... Regarding the narrator's comment that no chain at the time could have connected Julius Caesar to someone in the Americas, even given three hundred links, I think the answer could well be no, but it made me check for recent data, and maybe?
posted by Wobbuffet at 7:15 PM on July 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

These are really amazing images, thank you! I had never heard of him and now I'm going to delve into all his work.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:26 PM on July 19, 2016

Bog, I miss Roskilde Festival.
posted by brokkr at 3:24 AM on July 20, 2016

I live in Copenhagen and I was pleasantly surprised when I clicked through to find no traces of the Kinfolk beautiful blonde 20-something pourover coffee Lene Tranberg designed this student housing! chambray shirt $4000 bicycle everyone's upper middle class harbor bath pastiche that gets troweled over every internet piece about Denmark these days. Nice piece, thanks for posting.
posted by zingiberene at 6:16 AM on July 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

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