PlayhideandseekVolume #1 - 4 is an ongoing project by the artists Tine Isachsen and Sara Tanderø who lives and works in Oslo, Norway. Educated at respectively The National Academy Of The Arts Oslo, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design London, School of Visual Arts New York, and ESAG Paris. They have collaborated on Playhideandseek since 2010. Photographs and videos from the series have been exhibited in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Venice and New York. Playhideandseek#1-4 explores the relationship between staged photography, performance and identity.

Our collaboration

With Playhideandseek the perception of identity is seen trough the eyes of both the photographer and the performer. Sara Tanderø comes from a dancer background and is very interested in performance as an art form. Tine Isachsen has a background in painting and directs art and music-videos. Sara Tanderø is performing the characters in Playhideandseek and Tine Isachsen do the shooting, but the relationship on set is more a like a mutual performance than the usual relationship between a model/photographer. Isachsen perform behind the camera and Tanderø in front to create a surreal universe that no other can enter. Isachsen does not control the performance but focus on capturing the formal structures like light and composition. 

About our artistic process

All the images are taken on location and are not digitally manipulated in Photoshop. We only use natural light in to achieve a painterly and tactile expression in the photographs. To create our own dreamlike reality we have a few simple rules: We don’t plan in advance, search by intent and we find nothing. We don’t control our surroundings and let the location find us rather than the other way around. We are not trying to achieve perfection in our photographs or videos. We also let the props decide the visual expression and use props that we both collect over time. Then we let the location, light and the performance decide how the end result turn out. This process is very intuitive and we are inspired by the spontaneity and irrationality found in Surrealism and Dadaism.

About Identity

Identity is something layered and often concealed. Our characters seem to be almost out of reach as they are hiding their faces, the only thing that can identify us. The masks we use in the photographs act as a subtle hint of something not quite natural but at the same time familiar and reassuring. Our characters are stuck in their own reality and the images can be seen as flashes from a film that causes the viewer to contemplate further on the story behind the staging. You could say our women are lost in kind of in between state. These performative photographs and videos have a surreal manifestation in order to expose the loss of our natural state, our instinctive being.

The Titles.

The image titles for Playhideandseek are often inspired by the naive and often illogical undertone in spam mail. They have sentences without meaning designed to slip through the spam filters. The word structures in these sentences are mechanical and alienated which enhances the condition of our characters.

On feminism.

Our project has several feminist aspects. Certain feminine qualities are often perceived as threatening. Emotions like hysterical, irrational or crazy often refers to the feminine and have negative connotations. We both come from a conservative background in Oslo and find a lot of inspiration in this controlled and sometimes old-fashioned environment. This also applies to the rest of society but is more visible in this environment. It drives us to create a surreal parallel universe where our female character comes out to play. Many of the titles like “She forgot to fluff the pillows”,What is it in your Louis Vuitton bag”, “Give her more meat”, “You need to speak perfect” and “I have to cut butter” emphasize this subject matter.

Using Format