Alexander Leistiko | Ævi

Alexander Leistiko is a British-Danish artist and photographer, raised in England and currently based in Denmark. His self-portrait series, Ævi, is an ongoing exploration into both individual and cultural notions of the self and how these are moulded and shaped by our differing natural environments. 


"Ævi is an ongoing self portrait series which I started in early 2015. Translated from Old Norse, Ævi means something close to “life”, “lifetime” or “biography”. Partly performative, partly meditative, the images can be described as performances for camera, wherein the ritualistic process of creating the image - finding locations, preparing and positioning myself within them - is as important as the photographic result.

The series combines photographic interests in landscapes and the body with an underlying belief that the psyche of individuals (and, indeed, of cultures) is affected by the idiosyncrasies of the natural world surrounding them. In this sense, the series can be read as a psychogeographical diary, charting places of note throughout changing landscapes, both internal and external.

They change because I move. From country to country. From country to city. From day to day or from person to person. The allure of self-portraiture has been, for me, its ability to function as a journal. The individual images are about many things; each specific to the time they were made, but with some common themes. They are taken across several years and several countries. Throughout them all, as in the majority of my work and life, is a desire to understand the impact of my cultural identities on my idea of self.”