Jonas Jessen Hansen is a multimedia artist based in Glasgow whose work spans film, installation and photography. His practice is rooted in the real world. With a conceptual and abstract approach, his works explores a curiosity about what it means to be happy, successful and beautiful; what it means to fit into society and be accepted, what it means to stand out from the crowd and be our own person. Dealing with today’s urban culture, he sets up certain relationships between concealment and display, anonymity and identity. Having just graduated from Glasgow School of Art, Jonas is about to move to New Zealand where he will live and work for the next year.
His current work speaks about borders, both physical and imaginary. When people and establishments act out of self-interest, the result is social distance; although people are different, our physical borders are the same, and we all share the same home. The ideal, not being a world without borders, but one where all borders are recognised, respected and permeable; a world, in fact, where respect for differences would start with the equality of all individuals, independent of their origin or gender.
“Borders are found all around us, be it the national borders surrounding us or the private and personal borders surrounding people in their everyday life. If you look at a map of the world, it becomes obvious that someone drew the lines. Separated the different territories. Created new nations, while erasing others. Borders do not create themselves and they are rarely permanent.
Liquid Landscapes is an ongoing project thematising national symbolism and challenging culturally-defined norms about ‘us’ and ‘them’. Dividing the society into ‘us and them’ will create problems when, right from the start, society places immigrants and second-generation immigrants as not being a part of the community. We are all people. We have bodies and minds, 10 fingers and 10 toes, but we’re all different, and the fact that we are is what creates an enriched and multicultural society. The idea of national citizenship today has become liquid. It is no longer only a product of your nationality, but an resource to be purchased, traded or revoked. Liquid landscapes are made using temporary tattoos having been displayed on human bodies and stretched out on plexiglass. By taking the shape of human skin, they’re stretched on to the plexiglass taking on their own shape like liquid; like human lives, each one is different, and each one’s experience with their borders is unique.”
See more of Jonas’ work at:
All images copyright Jonas Jessen Hansen.