The purpose of 'I am also you' is to explore self-esteem and self-awareness, how people think, feel and relate to life. Very few of us have done such a objective "self-assessment". Normally, ‘who we are’ is a product of what other people have told us what we are, based on what we do or where we live - not who we are. When assessing what we "are about"one can live in alignment with consciously chosen principles and feel freedom over your own life and life as a whole. I create meaningful thought-provoking portraits of people and use the art to encouraging and promoting empathy across the region, land borders and identity.
I want to produce pictures that surpasses the "this is a nice picture" mentality and witness the pictures have a powerful impact. Pictures that make people feel something that moves them. Photos that provoke difficult questions. Images that help people dream and discover something new. Images that give healing and influence on society and culture. To reinforce this I have a conversation with the subject in advance where I ask them 'who are you?'. What are your personal values, abilities and feelings? Depending on the individual, the answer can be based on past, present, who they see themselves as in the future, or moral values that one carries with them through a lifetime. Who and what you are, will often be a subject that constantly changes as your personal experiences, feelings, abilities and values develop. This series is not exclusively about making artistic images, but also about documenting and preserving unique artwork - the individuals themselves. None of the individuals are photographed with any additional make-up, or are dressed up for the sake of the picture. Nothing is staged, nothing is fake. The only stylistic device I'm using for the series is a simple background. With this approach I focus on the individual and not their living conditions or lifestyle. I emphasize their uniqueness and their values. "I am also you" is a long-term project where I step by step must work towards gaining trust of the subject in order to create a picture in the desired proximity and intimacy. With these portraits, I give the audience a glimpse into someone else's deep thoughts and opinions, and allow the audience to discover something unique to each and every person.
The aim with this photographic portrait series is to break down barriers created to divide and separate, and enable people to see each other and accept each other through our many similarities. We are all people, we all have common values and abilities, we all feel the same emotions - despite the labels we get and give each other. To accept other people for who they are, instead of what they do or what tasks they have in their daily lives. To feel a connection to other people that you would not otherwise have seen. I will activate peoples thoughts about who they are, make them reflect and create a sentence or two that’ll be combined with their portrait.
HEGEH - Artist - Norway