“Estate” is a series of photographs of negatives.

These negatives were purchased in Denmark, and are almost certainly the negatives of a Danish family sometime around the second world war. In the images seem to mostly be vacation photos with the occasional family photo in a city setting. This is the information we have about them.

These negatives are taped up on a sheet of glass and photographed in Northern Italy, at and around the now famous vacation destination, Lake Garda. Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists descend on the largest lake in Italy for their own vacation, hoping for relaxation and a simple realization of their desires. The tourist infrastructure of the lake is highly developed, yet it can barely hold the amount of people vacationing every year.

By shooting the negatives on slide film (thus making my own positive) and then enlarging this positive in the darkroom, the resulting picture is in negative of real life. Sky becomes dark, shadows become highlights, it is a classic aesthetic. But the negative being held up in the image is also reversed, resulting in a positive image. The present is reversed and in a way nullified, and the past returns to the forefront, becoming the focus.

There is zero digital manipulation of these images, the negatives are photographed on location.

“Estate” means a property one owns or a legal position in English (heirs inherit the estate of a person who has died). In Italian it means summer.

Andreas Olesen