Stunned and numb, a human figure dressed up as a pink tiger is lying on a carpet, on the walls drawings that seem to have been made by children show the same subject repeated in different poses and attitudes: an obsessive representation of oneself. Anja Carr with her series Moments through the observer into her imaginary worlds, surprising him and leaving him confused in front of a series of characters, always animated by the artist, whose traits reflect the characteristics of pop and kitsch cultures.

In Moments (Act 13) (2015) the subject is a pink tiger that becomes the container for Anja Carr’s body: each photograph in the series is the result of a performance in which these fantastic characters are animated within different theatrical sets built by the artist herself. The distinction between performance and staged photography becomes very blurred: photography is used here as a means of making the image non-static but rather transforming it into a switch for possible narratives that the observer can conduct autonomously. The representation proposed by the artist then is not a way to fix a moment or an identity, rather to multiply both one and the other: the tiger abandoned on the floor now seems to fit into an anecdote, perhaps a dream or perhaps a nightmare. In the same way Carr is able to propose never-defined representations of the self, indeed she manages to create figures that can contain a series of opposites. If the soft fluffy costume can make you think of some childhood character, at the same time it is clear that is also a reference to a sub-culture on the dark web where this character is used in pseudo-pornographic environments. Repulsion and desire seem to be the two vertices on which the artist’s aesthetic moves: the ambivalence contained in these images is what makes them so mysterious and at the same time so interesting.

The self-portrait is therefore used as a staging of oneself, of one’s own contradictions and of the contrasting components that animate our identity: Anja Carr without any restraint shows off as a dreamer child but also as an adult woman whose fantasies live in a continuous rebound of curiosity and repulsion. Moments asks us to stop, to enter the artist’s imaginary world and to free our unconscious in any direction it wants to take.


Anja Carr
Moments (Act 13), 2015, photography / giclée print (performance documentation), 59.4 x 84.1 cm. Costume made in collaboration with Hanna Duna and drawings made in collaboration with children at different schools as part of the teaching program Den kulturelle skolesekken (The cultural school bag) in Trondheim, NO. Image courtesy: Anja Carr


Moments (Act 13) will be on display, together with the other images of the project,  at the solo exhibition of the artist at the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Center in Daugavpils in July. In addition one of them is currently on display at the Summersault group exhibition at the Buer Gallery in Oslo until 30 June 2021.