The heart of BORCH Editions is the Copenhagen printmaking studio. The printmaking, always done in-house, is a close collaborative process between the artists, founder and master printer Niels Borch Jensen, and his team of master printers. The collaborations often continue over many years, allowing the artists to build up a comprehensive body of printed work that explores the various aspects of the medium and ties in closely with their oeuvre.
Through the studio’s 40-year history runs an undercurrent of bold experimentation and continuous hard work to reshape and revitalise the field of printmaking together with some of the world’s leading artists.
Wardell Milan, Our Lives to Live, 2022, detail
Wardell Milan working at BORCH Editions, Copenhagen, 2022
We are delighted to present the first two parts of Wardell Milan’s printmaking project 'The Balcony.' Milan first initiated 'The Balcony' in 2019. It alludes to the relationship between performer and spectator in a theatre setting, inspired by a play of the same title by Jean Genet from 1956. Genet’s play is set inside a brothel while a revolution takes place on the streets outside. In Milan’s work, human bodies become the stages on which questions of gender, race, sexuality and power are being negotiated.
The 2019 part of 'The Balcony' marked Milan’s first foray into printmaking. In 2022, he extended the portfolio through a second suite subtitled 'The World is Made of Eggs.' Though made at different times, both suites are strongly informed by the circumstances in which they came into being and the way Milan engages with the visual culture surrounding him.
‘When I’m working, I become extremely conscious about that imagery and how images of war or images of beauty cannot only change or affect my mood but also how it can inform someone as relates to what they want to aspire to, and how they want to retreat or engage with the world.’—Wardell Milan
Milan has used images from the news or magazines as reference points for the compositions, which are executed on copper plates. The result is a portfolio of prints that have evolved between 2019 and 2022, employing a range of time-honoured printmaking techniques which are executed in a range of grey tones, pattern and line work to create decidedly contemporary, politically charged visual narratives.