If you had the choice - is it better to be deaf or blind? During Axel’s childhood, this question was often discussed in the Røthe household, without a definitive conclusion. 17 year old, Axel Røthe, gradually lost his vision and by the age of 10 he was totally blind.
Axel had no choice, but his head remains full of images. He remembers a great deal from the time he could see and it’s from these references that he draws his inspiration and ideas. Through his photography, Axel attempts to share his experiences and feelings- smells, tastes, sounds and moods. Joyous sounds, sad sounds, happy moods and gloomy moods.
Axel experiences life with the same intensity as any other person, often more profoundly. Due to his disability he is forced to sharpen his impressions and inner pictures. He is required to interpret and relate to various sounds and moods, which initially are difficult for him to understand and which he quite often gets wrong.
Axel’s photos abound with humour. Taking in situations where he entertains himself with his inner images, young Mr Røthe questions what a nose or mouth might look like from the inside, how sunlight appears if a photo is taken underwater, or trying to visualise how his brother acts whilst having a laughing fit. It is not always that he hits the nail on the head, but his inner image never misses the target. Even if the titles of his photos may appear extremely confusing to the viewer, they are nothing but absolutely perfect in Axel’s mind. His photos will certainly challenge and tease the viewer’s own ability of interpretation.
Axel’s past-time is not restricted to photography alone. He is passionate about drumming and music, especially the Beatles. Following in the footsteps of the Fab Four, Axel has held a live concert on the roof of his home and has recorded songs with his band, Cloudberry Cream, which boasts some of Norway’s leading musicians. On one of these tracks, Axel has attracted contributions from international artists, who have added a sound here or a riff there.
Humans must communicate. This need is even more pronounced when the ability to express one’s self through conversation is drastically reduced. However, through his music and photography, Axel Røthe reveals his true self and reaches objectives normally beyond the reach of the outside world.