‘Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.’ So said Oscar Wilde. But power can manifest itself in many ways. With the Danish photographic duo, Vestholm, power rests in the realm of the imagination – undoubtedly the most erogenous zone. Just as we eat first with our eyes, so arousal begins with an image. Marianne Vesterled and Tue Holmgaard’s image world is mysterious and seductive, though their eroticism is underscored by dark humour and elements of the surreal. This, their first book, is an invitation to a private performance. A story is unfolding, but each frame represents just a fragment. As Diane Arbus observed, ‘A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.’
Tue Holmgaard (b. 1971) and Marianne Vesterled (b. 1975), the artists known as Vestholm, demonstrate the creative, artistic and intellectual possibilities to be found in partnership, trust and love. They met in mid-life and began to explore a mutual interest in the complex terrains of seduction and passion. With Tue behind the camera, and Marianne in character, their creative instincts mesh to form a singular voice.
John Hirschfeld is the nom de plume of an oxymoronically described adventurous American. He has immersed himself in art, eroticism and aggressive doubt for six decades. His life’s work can best be understood as trying to tell people things they don’t want to hear in a way that they can hear it.
‘It is our hope that Secrets will give rise to reflection and questions. That the boundaries between the beautiful and the ugly, the virtuous and the wicked, the innocent and the guilty will be experienced as unclear and unsettling. Or, better still, as nuanced and mysterious. It is in these spaces, where we lack solid ground beneath our feet, that the seeds of play and growth are to be found.’ – Marianne Vesterled and Tue Holmgaard
‘Questions raised; no answers provided. Who is dominant, who is submissive? Who is in control: does it matter? A rendezvous awaits at the top of the stairs.‘ – Chas Ray Krider
- Marianne Vesterled and Tue Holmgaard
- John Hirschfeld
25 x 33cm
10 x 13 in
116 colour and b&w photographs
£50 | $75
Published in a numbered edition of 300 copies
- State of the Pit
Tartarus Magazine, 20 April 2022