A book review by Cori Amato Hartwig
As if it were a time capsule, Øyvind Jonas Jellestad’s When The Crowd Cries offers readers a chance to go back in time, back to a time at which Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe drove the styles of portrait and fashion photography. Providing us with nearly eighty pages of black and white film, the book serves as a catalog featuring the late model AnneGrethe Fuller. Jellestad shot the photos between 1979 and 1984, while he was working as a freelance photographer in Norway; the first edition of the book was not published until May 2017.
The title, WhenThe Crowd Cries, conjures up lyrics from the David Bowie song “What In The World,” off of his iconic 1977 album Low, a song in which Bowie sings out to a young girl, insisting for her to “wait until the crowd cries.” AnneGrethe Fuller reminds us of the young girl Bowie sings to; this book marks some of the highlights of her modeling career and acts as her shining moment when the crowd cries for her.
Jellestad’s vision shines through the prints. The photos, while diverse, have clear consistency and interesting form. In a particular print, Fuller tilts her head back with her back facing the camera, creating beautiful lines and shape with her head, shoulders, and collarbones, emphasized by the Mapplethorpe-esque contrast provided by the black and white film. The human body itself plays an important role in creating the eye-catching form of these pieces; Fuller displays a natural sense of space and shape, her poses and facial expressions challenging the binaries between clean and dirty, and professional and fun/flirty. While she is considered a traditionally beautiful woman, Fuller models with a genuine way about her, expressing a sense of self and quirkiness that reflects the spunky element so prominent during the time, when glam rock and new wave ran rampant and proved that beauty could be messy, fun, and different. When viewing the photographs, people are reminded of Warhol’s work with Mick Jagger from 1975, as Jellestad plays with line in his photographs. Fuller’s eyeliner stands out in a series of prints that heavily rely on line to create strong, quirky portraits.
In the second edition of the book, Jellestad has added a forward providing some information about AnneGrethe and himself. This enhances the experience of the art; AnneGrethe never thought of herself as a model until she saw the prints of herself. Knowing that the camera made AnneGrethe transform into a different person, a model transcending ideals of beauty and fashion, makes seeing these photographs all the more special.
It should be noted that the iBooks edition has a different cover than the original version, as Apple declared AnneGrethe Fuller’s exposed breasts as “inappropriate.” In my conversations with Øyvind Jonas Jellestad, he pondered over whether or not to continue to sell the book via iBooks. He told me he was tempted to remove the book from iBooks because he felt that he felt that his art was “censored
due to Apple’s removal of the cover photo. In my opinion, his struggle over this censorship only strengthens my perception of Jellestad’s artistic integrity; his devotion to keeping the art as AnneGrethe would have wanted it touched me. Jellestad’s genuineness permeates through the book and the art itself.
Overall, When The Crowd Cries not only stands as a touching memorial to the late AnneGrethe Fuller, but it also transports viewers back in time, back to the days of glam rock and new wave, times that shouted that beauty could be incredibly messy and put-together all at once. The second edition of When The Crowd Cries by Øyvind Jonas Jellestad is available for digital download through iBooks (Apple) and Kindle (Amazon), published in Bergen, Norway by CheapChip Publishing.
And who is Cori Amato Hartwig?
Cori Amato Hartwig is a writer, editor, and singer-songwriter based in San Francisco, California, where she and several colleagues founded Crooked Teeth Literary Magazine in April 2017.
A review of When The Crowd Cries is featured in Crooked Teeth’s debut issue, “Summer In The City.”
As well as being a founder and fiction/poetry/visual art editor of Crooked Teeth, Cori currently serves as Managing Editor of San Francisco State University’s Transfer Magazine.
Her debut album Not For Nothing is available on Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, Apple Music, and all other streaming services.