Fin Serck-Hanssen, Hedda

On Sunday, 22 August, 17.00-19.00, the Fotobokfestival Oslo, curated by Zofia Cielatkowska, will hold a book launch of Hedda by Fin Serck-Hanssen at Fotogalleriet. The process of the book in the making constituted part of Le Book Club, a Fotogalleriet exhibition dedicated to the photobook as an exhibition space of its own, divided into different, weekly chapters in January–February 2020. On Friday, 19 August, Fin Serck-Hanssen will also be part of the seminar Tidens ansikt – Portrettfotografi, traumer og minnekultur (The face of the time - Portrait photography, trauma and memory culture) with Andrea Gjestvang, Fin Serck-Hanssen, Øyvind Vågnes and Mette Sandbye held at Fotografihuset.

The book launch at Fotogalleriet will feature a conversation between artist Fin Serck-Hanssen and writer and art critic Andreas Breivik. During the same session, you'll be able to attend also a book launch of Tonje Bøe Birkeland's The Characters, The Buthan Trilogy.

Hedda offers a complex and profound reflection on the construction of gender identity in the 21st century. Over the last five years, Norwegian artist Fin Serck-Hanssen followed and documented the gender-confirming journey of close friend Hedda, who from her early twenties travelled from Oslo to Buenos Aires and Bangkok to undergo cosmetic surgeries and a vaginoplasty. Serck-Hanssen and Hedda’s images are made collaboratively to build a complex portrait of both physical and psychological changes within a young person’s life, and show with unflinching honesty the realities of Hedda’s confirming, surgeries, and recovery. Hedda reflects on the construction of identity in the 21st century, mixing her selfies and curation of an online identity against Serck-Hanssen’s tender but direct portraiture of her most vulnerable moments. The book also bears traces of this identity being shaped: dark, almost imperceptible images, heavy with overprinted black ink, show the traces of photographs of that Hedda chose not to disclose of herself; part of an innovative, rational yet sensitive design by Mevis & van Deursen. Hedda finishes with an immersive short fictional story by novelist Genevieve Hudson, exploring ideas of ambiguity, transition and change.

About Fin Serck-Hanssen
Fin Serck-Hanssen (Oslo, 1958) started his career in the early 1980s, photo documenting the punk and underground music scene both in Norway and the UK. He captured the behind the scenes of legendary bands such as Depeche Mode, The Cure, R.E.M. and the Clash. Since the 1990s Serck-Hanssen has portrayed the Norwegian queer community during and after the AIDS crisis. Furthermore, he focused on projects of social justice, offering a platform of visibility to the living conditions of North Sea divers or inmates in national detention centres. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki (FI), ICA, London (UK), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (DK). His work is part of private and public collections including Victoria & Albert Museum, London (UK) and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (NO).

Image: Hedda by Fin Serck-Hanssen is published by Loose Joints

© Fin Serck-Hanssen 2021 courtesy Loose Joints