Birth Notes is a series of ten two-colour silkscreens on canvas, made by Linn Pedersen and Jan Freuchen during an intensive production week at Trykkeriet. The works consist of photos from the home birth of their youngest daughter, combined with enlarged versions of her own “notes” made with a ballpoint pen two years later.
In recent art history, children’s drawings have often been held up as an ideal, untainted by the stiff forms of pictograms. Once the hand has learned to draw letters and symbols, it cannot be unlearned. At the same time, pregnancy and birth have often been relegated to idealized representations and symbolic references in art, despite the defining experience it is for mother, child and family.
In Birth Notes, the artists attempt to approach these aspects with a scrutinizing and playful gaze, where pain, confusion and ecstasy are summed up in unstable photography and vital registrations.
Linn Pedersen (b.1982) is educated at the University of the Arts in Bergen and Central Saint Martins, London and works with medium format photography, installations and older photographic techniques such as cyanotype and camera obscura. Among her most recent exhibitions are Daybreak (Galleri Golsa, 2023), Corpus (Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, 2022), Ethereal, (Fotografie Forum Frankfurt, 2019) and Pupill (Kunstnerforbundet, 2017).
Jan Freuchen (b.1979) is educated at the University of the Arts in Bergen and the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main and works with sculptures, collages, publications and curatorial projects. Among his most recent exhibitions are Electrified plinth (Kristiansand Kunsthall, 2022), Screen dump (Billedhoggerforeningen, 2019), Troløse Bilder (Nasjonalgalleriet, 2018) and Seeable Sayable (Kunstnernes Hus, 2016). In 2006, Freuchen founded the art book publisher Lord Jim Publishing, which he currently runs together with author Sigurd Tenningen.