Astrid Kruse Jensen
Astrid Kruse Jensen is a Danish photographer
Photography in Denmark
Photography in Denmark has developed from strong participation and interest in the very beginnings of the art in 1839 to the success of a considerable number of Danes in the world of photography today...

 who specializes in artistic night photography
Night photography
Night photography refers to photographs taken outdoors between dusk and dawn. Night photographers generally have a choice between using artificial light and using a long exposure, exposing the scene for seconds, minutes, and even hours in order to give the film or digital sensor enough time to...

 where she brings out the mysteriously unreal, working on the play between artificial light and darkness. Her work has been widely exhibited in Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and abroad.

Early life

Born in 1975 in Aarhus
Aarhus or Århus is the second-largest city in Denmark. The principal port of Denmark, Aarhus is on the east side of the peninsula of Jutland in the geographical center of Denmark...

, Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

, Astrid Kruse Jensen began her education as a photographer in 1995 when she studied at the School for Photography in Aarhus. In 1998, she continued to study photography in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy of Design
Gerrit Rietveld Academie
-Profile:More than 45% of the student population comes from abroad, originating from over 60 different countries around the world. Most of the classes are in English...

 in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

. She completed her studies in 2002 after a two-year course at the Glasgow School of Art
Glasgow School of Art
Glasgow School of Art is one of only two independent art schools in Scotland, situated in the Garnethill area of Glasgow.-History:It was founded in 1845 as the Glasgow Government School of Design. In 1853, it changed its name to The Glasgow School of Art. Initially it was located at 12 Ingram...

's Fine Art Photography department. She then spent two years teaching at the School for Photography in Aarhus, spending short periods on artist residencies at St Petersburg, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, and Hafnarfjördur, Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 organized by the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art.


In answer to a question on her night photography technique, Kruse Jensen explains: "In recent years, most of my work has been carried out at night. This is due to the fact that, at night, I can manipulate and interpret the surroundings while the photograph is being taken. I can underexpose or over-emphasize certain areas of the picture. Normally I use the light available at the site, and the hypernatural colours are a result of the very long exposure times I can use when I photograph at night. With long exposure times, I also relinquish full contol over the light and colours, and I think it is interesting that part of the process is a matter of chance. My work is analogue and the pictures are created without any additional manipulation. The level of detail in even the darkest photographs is the result of the long exposure time."

The Hypernatural series (2006) presents photographs of Iceland's geothermically heated swimming pools. Her pictures are taken at night, in the absence of people, the rippling water conveying a feeling of silence and emptiness. She makes excellent use of the artificial sources of light which appear to come in from another world. The pools do not appear as they would to the naked eye but rather as a zone of artificial imagery as if they have a life of their own once night falls. Hypernatural represents a meeting between the alien and the familiar: the alienation between humans and nature, between the reality of the spaces depicted and the fiction the images represent.

In her recent collections Imaginary Realities, Parallel Landscapes and The Construction of Memories, Kruse Jensen attempts to question traditional concepts of reality and nature, casting a new, disconcerting light on familiar subjects. Her photographs transform them into parallel realities which continue their existence in the observer's imagination. There is also a temptation to think about the background to her photographs, always hidden in the dark. Rather than telling a story, Kruse Jensen suggests a multitude of possible scenarios including psychologically loaded situations which go beyond the bounds of a narrative.

The paradox in the work of Astrid Kruse Jensen is her ability to use photography as a means of bringing reality together with the imaginary. She uses her camera as a tool for telling stories. Picking on quite ordinary subjects, she brings us images which suggest more than they actually show, allowing the beholder to interpret their full meaning.


Astrid Kruse Jensen's website provides the following list of solo exhibitions:
  • Between the Real and the Imaginary, Maison du Danemark, Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

    , France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

  • The Construction of Memories, Galerie Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen, Denmark (2010)
  • Between the Real and the Imaginary, Artotheque de Caen, Caen
    Caen is a commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the Calvados department and the capital of the Basse-Normandie region. It is located inland from the English Channel....

    , France (2010)
  • Hidden Places/Enchanted Spaces, The Viewing Room, Mumbai
    Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

    , India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

  • Between the Real and the Imaginary, Vestsjællands Art Museum, Sorø
    Sorø is a town in Sorø municipality in Region Sjælland on the island of Zealand in east Denmark. The population is 7,805 . The municipal council and the regional council are located in Sorø....

    , Denmark (2008)
  • Indefinite Spaces, Galerie Mikael Andersen, Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

    , Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

  • Selected Works, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin, Germany (2007)
  • Hypernatural, Centre culturel Zamek, Poznan
    Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, with a population of 556,022 in June 2009. It is among the oldest cities in Poland, and was one of the most important centres in the early Polish state, whose first rulers were buried at Poznań's cathedral. It is sometimes claimed to be...

    , Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

  • Hypernatural, Galerie Hornbaek, Hornbæk
    Hornbæk is a seaside resort town on the north coast of the Danish island of Zealand, facing the Øresund which separates Denmark from Sweden. It is part of Helsingør Municipality and is located 12 km north-west of Elsinore, and is mainly known for its mundane holiday homes and broad sandy beaches.As...

    , Denmark (2006)
  • Parallel Landscapes, La Galeria, Barcelona
    Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

    , Spain
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  • Power of Place, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto
    Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

    , Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

  • Hypernatural, Kaunas Photo Days, Kaunas
    Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the center of a powiat in Trakai Voivodeship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413. During Russian Empire occupation...

    , Lithuania
    Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

  • Parallel Landscapes, Galerie Mikael Andersen, Copenhaguen, Denmark (2006)
  • Allusions of Home, Women’s Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

  • Hypernatural, Galerie Image, Aarhus, Denmark (2005)
  • Imaginary Realities, Philips Contemporary Art Gallery, Manchester
    Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

    , UK (2005)
  • Imaginary Realities, Galerie Skuggi, Reykjavik
    Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland.Its latitude at 64°08' N makes it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay...

    , Iceland
    Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

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