Leica Camera Italia presents James’ House and Hunting Heart by Jacob and Sara Aue Sobol curated by Maurizio Beucci and Claudio Composti at Leica Galerie Milano from November 17, 2023, to the end of January 2024.
Two love stories in black and white. On one side, there is the love for life amidst the ice, nurtured over the three years spent by Jacob Aue Sobol in Greenland. On the other, there is the love shared between the photographer and his wife, Sara Aue Sobol, expressed through the images captured by both.
“I never intend to take photographs, but this little camera is the tool I always carry with me to connect with people and places, to create intimacy, and to share intimacy.” – Jacob Aue Sobol.
Featuring over thirty photographs taken between 1999 and 2023, the exhibition at Leica Galerie Milano, housed within the recently renovated Leica Store, showcases two projects that bear the title of the show. These projects bring together the work of the Danish photographer, who describes himself as a “father, fisherman, and photographer,” and that of his wife, Sara Aue Sobol.
“James’ House” narrates, through images, the three years Sobol spent in Greenland and his encounter with James, an Inuit man (Arctic people) who taught him how to hunt, fish, and survive in extreme conditions.
“James taught me how to spot seals and use the tools of a hunter. He taught me when to speak and when to be silent. How to be present. During the years I was in Tiniteqilaaq, James’ house felt like the center of the universe. It was filled with laughter, tears, and silence. A place of warmth and embrace.” – Jacob Aue Sobol.
“Hunting Heart” is a collaborative effort between Jacob and Sara, offering an intimate perspective on their family life. While Jacob’s images are dominated by black and white, Sara’s vision adds a touch of color. Both photographers depict their children, their home, and the everyday moments with intensity and emotion.
The two stories on display speak to the complexity of human relationships, spanning different cultures and countries, as well as different environments. “James’ House” tells the story of a young man who becomes a fisherman, searching for self-sufficiency. On the other hand, “Hunting Heart” surprises us as it is somehow the revealing chapter of this epic tale. Sara meets Jacob, and together they become something different, in life – as parents – and in photography, with two voices that blend without ever confusing. “Hunting Heart” is the meeting of two great artists, and I am proud to exhibit this project in Milan for the first time. – Maurizio Beucci, curator and Head of Leica Akademie Italy
Family. Nature. Photography. Fundamental words for Jacob Aue Sobol. In the end, all his photographs are love stories. Love for life. Love for others. Love for family. “James’ House” and, even more so, “Hunting Hearts” are love stories. An essential experience that changed Jacob was his meeting with Sara, with whom he shares his life, his approach to photography, and two children. She is also a photographer and co-author of this project. Their entire world is captured in a continuous shot, like a stream of consciousness through images, an inseparable circle that makes up their daily life. – Claudio Composti, curator
“I always shoot in black and white, highly contrasted, to create a path straight to the emotions of the viewer. That is my ambition.” – Jacob Aue Sobol.
For many of his works, characterized by intense and highly contrasted black-and-white imagery, Jacob Aue Sobol utilizes the Leica M Monochrom, of which he became the first global ambassador after discovering it in 2012. This tool, designed exclusively for black-and-white photography, allows for unique artistic choices, enabling a shooting style closer to the techniques employed by the masters who inspired him. Solid and reliable, it combines a vintage feel with the natural evolution of advanced photographic technology.
The “Hunting Hearts” book is published by Dewi Lewis Publishing.
About the Authors
Jacob Aue Sobol (Copenhagen, Denmark, 1976) is a member of Magnum Photos. After studying at the European Film College, in 1998, he was admitted to Fatamorgana, a Danish school specializing in documentaries and fine art photography. In the fall of 1999, he moved to Tiniteqilaaq, Greenland, where he lived for three years, combining photographic practice with work as a fisherman and seal hunter. In 2006, he settled in Tokyo, where he developed the book “I, Tokyo,” which won the Leica European Publishers Award in 2008. After returning to Denmark in 2008, he continued to travel extensively, spending extended periods in Bangkok, along the Trans-Siberian Railway in Siberia, Thailand, Mongolia, America, and China.
Sara Aue Sobol (Verona, 1993) began taking photographs during her adolescence as a response to a violent family environment she sought to escape. In 2013, she moved to Copenhagen to study at Fatamorgana, where her practice evolved from a personal diary idea to a project that involved the subjects she portrayed. Drawn to challenging and hostile environments, she traveled and photographed in Russia and Mexico, where she lived in close proximity to the local population. She now resides in Denmark with her husband, Jacob Aue Sobol, and their two children on an island called Fejø, where they develop new projects and books.
James’ house and Hunting Heart
by Jacob and Sara Aue Sobol
from 17 November 2023 to the end of January 2024
Leica Galerie Milan – Italy