LAB 2014-2015 > Esther Johnson & Sonja Lillebæk Christensen – By which we live our lives

Esther Johnson & Sonja Lillebæk Christensen – By which we live our lives

Esther Johnson


Esther Johnson studied for an MA at the Royal College of Art, London, and for a BA (Hons) at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is an artist and filmmaker whose practice explores documentary portraiture through moving image, audio and photography. Her work has been exhibited internationally in over 40 countries including BFI London Film Festival; ICA, London; International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam; Istanbul Biennial; Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Germany; NASA, California; Tate Britain and Tate Modern, London; and on C4 and BBC television; and ABC Australia; BBC and RTÉ radio. She has written for several arts publications, is an independent film/video curator, and is Reader in Media Arts within the Art & Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, UK. Johnson was awarded the UK Philip Leverhulme Prize in Performing and Visual Arts for young scholars from 2012-15.

Sonja Lillebæk Christensen


Sonja Lillebæk Christensen (1972) Denmark. Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Det Jyske Kunstakademi, Århus, DK. In Lillebæks work she cultivates a taste for the everyday, those events that we might not notice or are aware of but which nevertheless contains social, cultural and poetic significance. On another level, she embodies an imagination that cannot help investing itself in the events and make them personal, adding a touch of fiction. Lillebæk has shown her video art on the national and international art scene: - FOKUS, Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen, DK. - Den Fri Udstillingsbygning, Copenhagen, DK. - Overgaden, Institut for nutidskunst, Copenhagen, DK. - ENTER, Brandts kunsthallen, Odense, DK. - SMK, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, DK. - SWG3, Glasgow, UK. - BUSAN BIANALE, Sea Art Festival, South Korea. - Mûcsarnok / Kunsthalle, Budapest, Hungary. - BLICK video festival, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden. -“Electric Visions” Video Art Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia. Winner of the 1. prize PORTRÆT NU! Brygger J.C. Jacobsens Portrait Award.


By which we live our lives


Svend Aage Rasmussen loves team sports and owns an impressive wine collection, which he logs meticulously. Born into a working class Danish family, Svend considers himself to be now upper middle class. A well educated psychologist, educator and author, Svend is sensitive to his position and change of social class, especially in Denmark, a country in debate as to whether class divisions still exist. By which we live our lives is a creative documentary in which experiences of traversing from one class to another are explored, an area commonly overlooked or ignored in discussions about class. The work questions whether having experience of different social classes can change one's viewpoint, clarity, appreciation and empathy to other notions of a ‘good’ way of life?

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