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Watching the Silence
by Kjetil Karlsen

Kjetil Karlsen’s debut monograph, Watching the Silence, invites readers to venture into northern Norway’s isolated and remote landscapes, seen through the author’s singular lens. Here, Karlsen’s life experiences are distilled into a world that is familiar yet, intriguingly, otherworldly. The book showcases nearly 90 black and white plates, divided into six chapters, and printed in dark, rich, and cold tones that capture the beauty and extremes of the distinct elements of the far north.

Karlsen’s photographs serve as gateways to mythological and psychological themes, unveiling the profound connection between the body, soul, and nature. As Arno Rafael Minkkinen, the renowned photographer whose expansive foreword opens the book, eloquently describes, Watching the Silence is “a kind of unguided tour by ghosts, one-legged wanderers, and soulless strangers performing their gravity-defying stunts, tender couplings, and displaying their psychic energies in an enigmatically desolate yet hardly unwelcoming landscape.” 

“When I create, I am entirely dependent on light. However, I aim to express universal emotions stemming from the deep silence within us, far down on the grayscale. We all carry this darkness, but most try to avoid it at all costs. I love the light and the joy, but the light would not be as valuable without the melancholy of darkness. It’s like the euphoria of a new summer after a long, dark, and cold winter here in the north.” — Kjetil Karlsen

  • Skeleton Key Press 2024
  • Hardback, 1st edition.
  • 152pLimited edition of 500 copies.