Sjøvold works with an idiom that clearly draws inspiration from documentary and art photography alike. The editors are fascinated by the way in which she challenges the viewer with her pictures.
Her ideas are profoundly personal, and she lets us accompany her into situations and stories that can sometimes feel unpleasant. This is a way of using photography that the NJP feels oversteps the customary borders of the documentary genre, but Sjøvold nevertheless tells an extremely good story with her pictures. Her project is original and provocative.
Excerpt from the project description
At Night we Sleep
Sleep and night-time are my points of departure in portraying people in ‘At night we sleep”. For several nights I photograph them in their own beds, and I follow along with what is going on in their immediate vicinities while they sleep. I show people at their most intimate, unguarded and vulnerable moments. This gives us insight into a world we are all a part of, but that most of us know nothing about. I create a holistic portrayal of the unique atmosphere and the state between dream and reality that arises in people’s homes and minds at night. To show who the sleeping people really are, I built up a portrait consisting of three parts that form a larger whole:
Part 1. What happens around us while we are sleeping? The immediate vicinity of the person who is asleep, and what happens if he or she awakens during the night.
Part 2. The person’s night in bed. Photographed both as a study of sleep per se and as part of a more pervasive presence.
Part 3. The person’s dreams through the night. Influences my portrayal of the person and how I edit the series.
My presence will have an impact on their sleep in the course of the night, but by being there for several nights I will be able to investigate the unconscious world.