* 1982, KARLSKOGA, SWEDEN
I enjoy simple, creative acts like walking and looking; often working intuitively with found material to incorporate in my photographs. My work deals with themes of the body, truth/fiction, and disorder – using photography, collage techniques, sound, and text.
I've lived and worked in Stockholm for the past 15 years and have shown my work in NMM/Gallery 5 (Norrköping), Dansens Hus (Stockholm) and Double Elvis Gallery (Stockholm). My first book was on construction sites, photographed by night.
2016 CA2+, Under Bron, Stockholm
2015 CA2+, FTK, Neu West Keller, Berlin
2015 Fasa, Arbetarmuseet Gråbo, Karlskoga
2014 Soundtable, NMM/Verkstad, Norrköping
2014 The Great Surrender, Dansens Hus, Stockholm
2013 Visuals, Art's Birthday Party, Kägelbanan, Stockholm
2013 Visuals, Norbergfestival, Norberg
2013 Barrier Miner, NMM/Gallery 5/Norrköpings Konsthall, Norrköping
2011 Inbetween Screening, Filmhuset, Stockholm
2011 Type Studies, Riche/Teatergrillen, Stockholm
2010 Synthesizers, Jam Syntotek, Stockholm
2010 Next, Södra Teatern, Stockholm
2009 New Media Meeting, Louis de Geer Konsert & Kongress, Norrköping
2009 Modern Ruins, Double Elvis Gallery, Stockholm
SO, WHAT'S ALL THIS ABOUT...
A friend of a friend asked me at a late night dinner. I mean your photography, what's it about? He went on, when I wasn't quick enough to reply. But the question puzzled me for several reasons; the first one being that we were slightly intoxicated. The second one being that I simply couldn't answer it.
Up until this point I hadn't really thought of my photographs to be about anything in particular. I wasn't trying to capture stories other than what was already apparent in the image. You know – subject, framing, contrast, texture and composition; the usual suspects. But these are just the Sirens used to lure the viewer in. If I would say that a photograph "is about" this, it would just be like referring to the grammar of a text, not considering what the story does to you as a reader. Which turned out considerably harder to explain.
He persisted. But surely your work must be about, well, something?
Arguably, there are recurring themes; perhaps disorder causing unexpected relationships between things? But I would just consider that form. And by now, the whole conversation had begun to discourage me, since I naturally wanted to help him have the experience himself.
Afterwards I felt that my failure to communicate had not just been due to the amount of drinks we've had, but because his question was about understanding, when all I could talk about was looking. He wanted to have a peek at the end of the book, so to speak, where they generally tell you what it was all about.
I have noticed this tendency for people to assume that if they understand a photograph, they'll be able to experience it. Of course there's nothing wrong with that approach, but I just don't feel that it's an efficient way of looking.
In my opinion, understanding something doesn't necessarily cause an experience. Understanding without experiencing is just using critical thinking, which is great if you're reading a text. But when you're watching photographs, there's this huge obstacle to experiencing them - this fundamental problem inherent to the medium. Namely, that it isn't very good at telling stories.
On the contrary, photographs actually seem to be especially bad at storytelling, since they lack most of the narrative tools of language. This unfortunately makes it a rather clunky form of communication in comparison. So, I try to make them in a way so that people realise that they are doing the experiencing themselves, and that it's not being done to them. The viewer has to go along for the ride as well.
Intuitively, this might feel a bit off, since we've all seen images that moved us in some powerful way. Just look at Syrian war victims. But those experiences aren't the result of storytelling; it's rather an involuntary projectile into your personal frame of reference, triggered by the photograph. Your mind is the hammer, while the image is the ammunition.
Instead, images compensate for this disability by being exceptionally efficient in orchestrating a release of associations. In fact, I think this might be photography's most fundamental characteristic.
To understand photography I've found it more useful think of it as a technique for producing associations, rather than being a vehicle for storytelling. To make this happen, good photographs rely on something called exformation. Exformation occurs when a certain part of information is removed from communication – the context, for example. But it's still hinted in such a way that it causes an explosion of associations within the recipient. You hide something from the viewer, because you can't be a detective unless something's missing. And when you miss something, you search for it. If anything, that's what my photographs are about. The good ones, at least.
The idea is to hold the eye hostage just long enough. Time is of the essence here. By presenting things that you usually perceive automatically in a sufficiently unfamiliar way, you temporarily increase awareness, which in turn encourages the mind to take new paths.