Photo fair Unseen, Amsterdam

image: Inka & Niclas

18-21 September, 2014
Inka & Niclas
JH Engström
Gerry Johansson
Henrik Isaksson Garnell

Inka & Niclas
Two photo based artists who are working closely to a performance tradition. Temporary artistic activities and their photographic documentation have been in a similar relationship in the past: In the course of the Concept Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the photography medium acquired a new meaning when it was used to photographically document and hence permanently preserve artistic performances or happenings. Thanks to the photographic documentation of these artistic events, which were only intended for a particular moment, these art forms became accessible to the art market; however, the focus always remained on the activity itself, which was considered to be the actual work of art. The photography was solely perceived as documentation. By contrast, Inka & Niclas go one step further here: although they still use photography in its traditional function for the documentation of an artistic activity, at the same time photography itself is very consciously understood as the final work of art. This becomes apparent not just from the well thought-out colors and composition of the images, but also from the type of framing used, since the frames in The Belt of Venus and the Shadow of the Earth are no longer understood as a limitation of photography, but rather as a part of it. Photography deliberately becomes the artistic end product, the actual artistic object.

At Unseen 2014 we are showing premieres by Inka&Niclas. They are continuing the investigation about photography. The latest project is meta-photography and in reference to the concept of capturing images of what’s “beyond” the physical scene and/or image. You could also interpret it as capturing the elements “adjacent” to the physical reality of the scene, as in the spirit or energy of the subject. Physical reality consists of different levels, or frequencies, of existence. Every physical being and inanimate object contains within/adjacent to/beyond itself an energetic existence. This energy could be referred to as spirit or soul.
The concept of “meta-photography” is that the photographer has included this spiritual essence, through intention and feeling, within their photograph. This method of looking at and capturing what is essentially “beyond” the physical beauty can actually be felt by the viewers of the artwork. For most, this will be an unrecognizable sensation that stimulates at a subconscious level.

Inka Lindergård was born 1985 in Finland and Niclas Holmström was born 1984 in Sweden. They live and work together in Stockholm, Sweden since 2007. There first book Watching Humans Watching (Kehrer Verlag) won the Photobook of the Year Award in Sweden 2012.

JH Engström
The book From Back Home (Max Ström, 2009) was awarded the book prize at Les Rencontres d’Arles and comprises a multifarious collection of coloured and black and white portraits, landscapes, still-lives, close-ups and aerial shots. The images are united by a sense of spontaneity, an ephemeral tone that lends them an air of tenderness. These are works of intimacy and loss, exploring questions of time, memory and the possibility of return.

Now JH Engström is following up with the brand new series Tout va Bien, 2014. Engström constructs photographic stories. Placed in sequences, displayed in books and arranged in grids and constellations in the gallery, he persuades the viewer to piece together a sense of the work as a whole, rather than take it one image at the time. Typically, within these groupings the artist juxtaposes diverse subject matter and perspectives: close up with far away, fragment with overview, tender and poetic with shocking. […] And yet, despite this eclecticism, like reading a novel in which the writer breaks the temporal sequence into fragments by switching between times and places, we are somehow able to construct a narrative, albeit one that is loose, inconclusive and open to flights of fancy. He says: “I can only make photographs of what I feel, of what results from my encounters with people. In this regard, my work is completely subjective. At the same time, I am interested in objectivity, in the fact that since you take photographs, you always deal with reality. And in this respect, I am not interested in subjectivity. It’s a paradox”.

JH Engström was born 1969 in Karlstad, Sweden. In 1997 he graduated from the Photography and Film department at Gothenburg University. Engstrom has shown work internationally in many exhibitions including the 2005 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, Ca me touche, les invités de Nan Goldin, at Les Rencontres d’Arles festival, France, 2009. The photobook has always been an important way of expression for him. Engström has released 13 monographs so far.

JH Engström will also have a solo show at the FOAM Museum, Amsterdam, opening on September 11 (exhibition period: 12.09 – 10.12.14). On Friday 12 at 4pm JH Engström will sign his books at the local brewery and tasting room Butcher’s Tears at the Karperweg 45 in Amsterdam. The book signing is open to everyone and reservation is not required.