Anja Niemi: In Character is the first career retrospective/monograph by the Norwegian photographer. Niemi’s work has emerged as a distinctive force within the venerable tradition of conceptual self-portraiture. She works alone and always in character. With her purposeful and elaborate stagings, Niemi is photographer, director and female lead, inserting herself into the lives of her fictional characters. Extending the genre of self-portraiture, Niemi is at heart a story-teller, a creator of fictions. Her images offer a multilayered, cinematic exploration of identity, gender roles and, crucially, our relationship with ourselves.
Anja Niemi is at the ‘breakout moment’ in her career, having had exhibitions in Amsterdam, London, New York, Oslo, Paris, San Francisco and Shanghai, and with her first museum retrospective show opening in February at Fotografiska in Stockholm. This book features over 170 photographs organized into the six series – Do Not Disturb, Starlets, Darlene & Me, Short Stories, The Woman Who Never Existed, and her latest series She Could Have Been A Cowboy – that have marked her career to date, supported by an essay and interview by Max Houghton, co-author of Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now. It is the perfect introduction for those encountering Niemi’s work for the first time, and a comprehensive retrospective of her career to date for her long-time followers.
'When viewed in sequence, the images could be mistaken for movie stills, melancholic mise-en-scénes evocative of anticipatory cinematic pauses'