The world´s first dark room analog gallery contributes to Copenhagen Festival

Through reaching out on social media and asking female aquaintances, Kim Wyon and Mahmoud Alibadi has created an exhibition portraining everyday femal heroes. The exhibiton shows six different females and their essence.

By Thea Landsverk and Katarina Spisakova

Kim Wyon showing the Queens exhibition at the Dark Gallery. Photo: Thea Charlotte Landsverk

In the middle of Ryesgade around the Triangle in Copenhagen, a small gallery welcomes you into a world of analogue photography, as the door is slightly open out to the street. In the corner of the gallery sits an middle age man on his computer. He welcomes us and asks whether we´re there for the festival exhibition. 

His name is Kim Wyon. He is the owner and  photographer of the Dark Gallery Copenhagen and has together with Mahmoud Alibadi created an exhibition portraying 6 women; “I have a crown, I am a queen”.

The gallery hosts events and exhibitions from several different artists.  It is the world first galley showing analoug photos in the dark. It is open for people to curate, come with ideas or suggestions. The gallery focuses on an honest and unfiltered conveyance of analoug photography where the main focus is to slow people down. Wyon explain that many galleries today are controversial in the sense that they organize the art in a way that will bring people quickly  thorugh, in order to end up spending money at the café or exit shop. He wanted to turn that around. His goal is for people to stay for an hour, which is, given the small area, a long time. He wants to create a place where people stay to study the images, to see it clearer and clearer and to notice more and more details as time passes. For this reason, he is now opening up for anyone to show their work here, the only requirement being; the work must contribute to slow people down. 

The golden days festival is an annual festival in Copenhagen, that conveys culture, science, and history. The culturhistory festival shows art within a different topic every September, with around 100 cooperating partners around Copenhagen. This year’s topic is Queens, honoring and appreciating the women that through history has impacted our society in some way. 

Wyon takes us thorugh the gallery and in to one of the dark rooms. The room is small and has three walls covered with photographs. In the middle hangs colored glasses from the roof, allowing visitors to see the photos in different lighting. The photographies are formed into storyboards showing the women in different settnings. It catches the essence of the women, from the photographers and the model own perpective.

The photogaphs tells a story of each and every one of them, through the perpective of the photographer, how he sees them, in combination with the women´s own perspective of themselves. Wyon explains that in todays society, we only present ourselves on social media, the way we perceive ourselves and want to be portraited.  When photographing, the model is usually portrained to convey a message that the photographer or management wants to be conveyed.  In this project they agreed to combine these two factors, in order for the women in the project to be portrained through the eyes of the photographer but with their wishes in mind.  

Colored glasses and the storyboards of “Queen Trine” and “Queen Elisabeth”. Photo: Thea Charlotte Landsverk

The 6 females shown in the exhibition are of different backgrounds, stories, age and interests. One of them works as a dominatrix, one love photography but has never shown her images, one is spiritual and all of them are everyday heroes in their own way. Through dialog with them, the photographers have portraited them in settings that show something special about them. Through answering five questions we get an additional impression of the six queens, in addition to the photocollage.  They were asked five questions; what is important to you in life? Describe yourself in five words? Mention three emotions you feel when seeing the photocollage. Describe the artist and the exhibition in three words? As well as a free comment.  Queen Elisabeth,  is one of the six females contributing in the exhibition. She is portaited in a livingroom holding a camera to her face. The storyboard shows vulnerability and documentary art. Elisabeth has always been passionate about photogaphy, but never shown her images. Maybe this exhibition will be her push to exhibit her own work at the dark gallery?

Kim Wyon- The photographer, video interview, Katarina Spisakova & Thea Landsverk