Thomas Wågström

Point Zero

June 1 – July 14, 2012
Opening speaker Barbara Lauterbach, art historian.

The central theme of Thomas Wågström‘s exhibition “Point Zero” is the man’s quest for a personal role and identity. Swedish Photography presents images from five of Wågström‘s series, most of them from Boxers and Slaget Noll/The Zero Moment.

In his Boxers series, Wågström portrays devotees of a truly masculine sport: boxing. Yet these men, who spend many hours of their lives cloistered in the isolated environment of the boxing club, see it as more than just a sport. For them it is a philosophy of life: one which brings structure into their everyday lives, providing stability and clarity. Yet in spite of the presence of an almost palpable, ascetic masculinity, Wågström’s portraits do not come across as hard or documentary; indeed, they transmit a graceful gentleness, a sense of poetry and style. His often sombre pictures bear striking witness to the physical – yet also mental – fight: the fight with one’s self and the cloister-like personal demons.
Inner fears also form the common thread running through his series Slaget Noll/The Zero Moment. Wågström’s original idea was to portray an existential void. The mostly sombre pictures invite interpretation and re-interpretation by the viewer, and thus sometimes change their meaning quite suddenly. Although they were taken in very different locations and at different times, what links them is their coarse, grainy blackness, which makes the paper almost glow.

Thomas Wågström was born 1955 and he lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.