Paris Photo

November 12-15, 2015
Booth D40
Artist: Dawid, solo exhibition

…We are on the path of what it means to make a sense of things, to understand what is represented. But to do this here, in the case of the photographer Dawid, or more accurate to say the artist Dawid, whose hundreds of images, primarily in serial suites of forms and variations, have long been called anti-photographs, and whose will is to live within the feints and strategies of the anti-reportorial, the anti-documentary, the anti-decisive-moment, to reverse Henri Cartier-Bresson’s claim for the photograph as an evidentiary form of truth. To invoke Hermes here is first to call up the word “hermetic,” the inwardly turned and obscure, and then, in response, to summon the hermeneutic act, the art of questioning and illuminating. This is the photographic medium under interrogation. But this interrogative form doesn’t only concern photographic image production or even, more generally, representation, but also (to make just a small claim) the materiality of a thing and the nature of a thing, the categorization of things and their being. The unclear, the impure, the hesitant and latent, the willful decision to trade clarity for the porousness and labile mystery of things are there in these suites of images made over decades as a comedy of categorical imperatives thrown into the air and come down as questions and shadows…
Part of a text by Steven Henry Madoff

Dawid (Björn Dawidsson) is one of Sweden’s most respected and well known photo based artists.
The main body of work are rare vintage silver gelatin prints but he also has recent work where he has utilised the possibilities of digitalisation proving his continuous experimentation with both ancient and modern techniques and equipment.
Dawid has been called Sweden´s first post-modern artist and has for over thirty years been making series of photographically based artworks examining the nature of the medium and exploring issues of perception. He began photographing in the late sixties, documenting incongruous moments with a wry sense of humour, until he established his signature style of stark graphic illustration, initiated by the seminal Rost series. His work often balances on a tight rope between the graphic and the photographic and reflects, criticises and parallels the chequered history and changing status of photography.

Dawid has since the 1970s been exhibited at leading galleries and institutions in Sweden and internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art, Folkwang Museum in Essen Germany. He has published numerous books and catalogues, and in 2001 his book Beautiful Frames was published on Steidl with lyrics by Michael Mack. Year 2009 Dawid awarded the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s Grand Prize for his artistic achievements and significance in the present. Dawid was born 1949 in Örebro, Sweden.