We are delighted to have Anja Carr as one of our contributing artists for Photography on a Postcard. The Norwegian artist is recognised for her colourful installations, sculptures, photography, and performances. In much of her work she explores fetishism and fatasy, for example her work that explores the phenomenon of 'furries'- people who worship their animal personality through self-produced fur-suits, or who are fans of fictional animals with human qualities. Carr herself often performs in self-made costumes, with references to this fur-fetish-culture and figures from the mass-culture of her own childhood. One reviewer writes that 'decay, perversity, gender issues or narcissism are themes that recur in Carr’s art'.
Carr creates immersive, fantastical environments peppered with imagery drawn from our juvenile consciousness – a flash of My Little Pony here, a spark of Ninja Turtle there – then she lacquers the once-innocent icons with her own brand of Scandinavian salacity. Disarmingly kitsch on the surface, she lulls her audience into a false sense of pseudo-nostalgia. The cuddly aesthetic contrasts the underlying, sensually sinister subtext.
Anja's staged environments contain evident theatrical elements, creating photographs that intersect with performance art and installation. Mixing 'bodily fluids' into her paint to decorate the walls of the Pink Cube Gallery, Anja does not reveal what exactly those fluids are or how much. This seems somewhat representative of Anja's work in general. The fetishistic or sexual elements of her works are not overt and we are unsure as to how much is actually sexual at all.
Anja has said 'I work with symbols and dream-like logic'. Her father is a psychologist and she herself has drawn links between psychology and her own work. Each element is suggestive, symbolic and carefully thought out. Her amazingly unique aesthetic is over flowing with subtext. The juxtapositions of themes reveal almost Freudian undertones about sexuality. From a feminist perspective her work is perhaps representative of a suppressed sexuality. Women are both infantalised and sexualised, this paradox is explored in Anja's work, creating the unsettling images such as seen in her photo postcards.