Lives and works in Denmark
Represented by nanda\hobbs
25 May — 11 June 2022
Starlings on a vast flight drove along like smoke, mist, or any thing misty without volition – now a circular area inclined in an Arc – now a Globe – now from complete Orb into an Elipse & Oblong – now a balloon with the car suspended, now a concaved Semicircle – & still it expands & condenses, some moments glimmering & shivering, dim & shadowy, now thickening, deepening and blackening!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1799
Søren Solkær is one of the world's leading photographers of counterculture. His renowned projects SURFACE and CLOSER have imaged many of the key protagonists in music, film and street art. Throughout his career, which continues to take him around the world, the artist has engaged with the natural world wherever possible.
Over the last five years, Solkær has investigated the migration of starlings across Europe. Known as murmurations, hundreds of thousands of birds swarm and morph into ever-changing forms in the dusk skies. From the beautifully bleak marshlands of Friesland to the ancient ruins of Rome, Solkær has captured the murmurations in their abstract evocative beauty. Different places describe the passage of the birds in different words¾’Black Sun’ in Denmark, ‘Bird Storm’ in Italy. Artists and writers contribute to this expanding fabric of local lore, enhancing the beauty and the mystery of the murmurations over the centuries.
The phenomenon has been hypothesised and explored by the erudite and the superstitious. Of particular note, physicist Giorgio Parisi was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2021 for his research in the field, documenting the interplay of chaos and cohesive oscillation in starling murmurations. Poised to transform at a moment’s notice if threatened, the birds are capable of a swift metamorphosis. Amidst the disorder, synchronised waves tell stories of flock dynamics¾the twisting and turning of one starling encouraging the fluctuation of others. For this species, systems of hierarchy simply do not exist. Beauty exists within the chaos.
BLACK SUN has been exhibited extensively across the globe, garnering much praise from the world's press, including the New York Times, The Guardian and National Geographic. The work in BLACK SUN has an extraordinary effect on its audience. Extending beyond mere documentation, Solkær uses his compositions to push at far greater existential questions.
Ralph Hobbs and Nicole Hauser
The Guardian's Andrew Stafford interviews Soren Solkaer about his latest artistic project BLACK SUN
Your monthly art news on the run plus invitations to Nanda\Hobbs exhibitions and events