Philosophy in the Bedroom
by Sofie Amalie Klougart
Sofie Amalie Klougart: “Philosophy in the Bedroom” is a portrait of the subculture of Danish swingers. I started working on this project in March 2012 and finished in June 2013 with an exhibition in Øksnehallen, Copenhagen. During this period I photographed all of the swingers clubs in Denmark (there were nine at that time), as well as private meetings/events, and interviewed and photographed numerous swingers from across the country.
There are swingers clubs across Denmark located in derelict countryside farms or in the suburbs. The windows are covered with black paint or veiled with dark curtains. When you step inside, you pay an entry fee, put your clothes in a locker, and walk into a bar or common room to meet, talk or have a drink with other people — and then, maybe have sex. Swinging is a sexual activity that can involve partner swapping, group sex or sex with your own partner in other peoples’ presence. In swingers clubs, people aim to explore their own sexuality and inhibitions, either alone or with a partner.
The rooms have sexual themes; one is for tantra sex, one for S/M; there is a doctors’ room and a darkroom.
There are many rules in the clubs. For example, nobody touches anyone without having made a relation or an agreement beforehand. You do not step into other peoples’ sexual acts without an invitation; you always wear protection and always take no for an answer. This way, people try to make sex less complicated. This is a study of a sexual subculture in Denmark, which challenges the traditional monogamous relationship.
This resulted in both snapshot photographs of interiors, noisy digital images of sex, and small texts based on my meetings and conversations with people within the culture, plus sound recordings.
Sofie Amalie Klougart (b. 1987), is a visual artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She graduated as a photojournalist from Danish School of Media and Journalism in 2013. She has exhibited her photographic projects in renowned institutions as well as in more experimental formats. Thematically, her primarily long-term projects revolve around the themes of love and migration. She has been awarded The Danish Press Photo of the Year several times, and in 2012 she was selected for The Joop Swart Masterclass for “Philosophy in the Bedroom.” In 2015 she was selected for The LensCulture Emerging Talent Award with the long term project “Reaching Europe,” raising awareness of the migration crisis. The project was also awarded the journalist stipend from the Danish wing of Doctors Without Borders, and has been exhibited around the world. Visit her website here.