– When you enter a hotel, it is like entering a theater or a movie, where one becomes part of the performance. That fascinates me.
In a hotel you also get the opportunity to be another version of yourself. Daily life can be overlooked and you can make room to immerse yourself or focus on new sides of yourself. I have created a number of portraits in the hotel universe to investigate it further.
These are the words of Søren Solkær, a world-famous Danish photographer, who chose Skt. Petri as the setting for the project because of our architecture, design and location in the heart of Copenhagen’s Latin Quarter.
There are textures throughout the hotel, and that makes it really photogenic. It is almost impossible to find a white wall. Everything is designed. Nothing is accidental, and on the top floors you have a view of Copenhagen’s roofs and sprouts, he says.
Stars in Copenhagen
Søren Solkær has lived in the Latin Quarter himself, which is the setting of Skt. Petri. He also chose the five people to be portrayed according to their connection to the old part of Copenhagen.
– For centuries the area has been the public scene for the stars of that age. Scholars, philosophers, artists, actors and writers have at all times populated Old Copenhagen. This I will refer to by pulling threads up to today’s stars. The people are chosen based on their personality and artistic weight, as well as their affiliation with Copenhagen, which they all gave lustre to. The contributors to the project are musician Steen Jørgensen, musician Karl Emil, musician Mette Lindberg, actor Pilou Asbæk and fashion designer Henrik Vibskov.
The contributors have been staged in the hotel’s rooms, hallways and foyer. They were asked to bring personal belongings that would be put into play on the pictures. Henrik Vibskov entered the hotel with three huge bunches of salami from an art project in Paris. Steen Jørgensen brought classical literature. It were books that meant a lot to him, including a first edition of one J.P. Jakobsen’s books. That J.P. Jacobsen has gone to university right next door, only makes it more interesting.
At the last of the 12 works, 4 of them are in the same picture. However, the image has been photographed at four different times. Fully voyeuristic and stylized as a Hopper painting. But it’s not a painting, because photos have an inherent reference as truthful witness to reality, where you think that what you see actually occurred. Solkær enjoys playing with this idea. However, fiction may well be real within the hotel. And that is Solkær’s magic.