In Dialogue with Strömholm
December 15, 2018 – February 9, 2019
With works by Christer Strömholm (1918-2002), Dawid (*1949), Gerry Johansson (*1945), Henrik Strömberg (*1970), Håkan Elofsson (*1955), Inka und Niclas (*1985/1984), Julia Peirone (*1973), Linda Bergman (*1976), Martina Hoogland Ivanow (*1973), Sascha Weidner (1974-2015), Susa Templin (*1965), Thom Bridge (*1987) and Yuken Teruya (*1973).
Dorothée Nilsson Gallery presents four rare prints by the Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm from his first exhibition in Stockholm in 1965. They are displayed alongside selected contemporary artists. The ensuing “dialogue with Strömholm“ thematizes and reflects artistic aspects of this artist’s oeuvre in a unique way.
Strömholm the doyen of modern Swedish photography, and his extraordinary work occupies an important position in the history of international photography. His pictorial compositions depict a unique vision of the world, and they led to his association with the group of pioneering photographers founded by Otto Steinert known as “Fotoform.” Strömholm is known above all for his legendary photographs of transsexuals at the Place Blanche in Paris during the 1950s and 1960s. With relentless radicality, his black-and-white “photographic existentialism“ captivates the poetic charm of life’s rough realities. The secret of this existentialism often lies in the surreal forms that are interwoven with dramatic pictorial moments, moments in which people resemble fragile and illusory creatures who reveal themselves to the camera in all their ordinariness, imperfection and doubt. Strömholm regarded his environment with the eyes of an artist who simultaneously seeks confrontation with reality and establishes contact with his fellow man, as a basic principle in photography. “Each picture can be considered a self-portrait, a part of one’s own life.” (Strömholm, 1983)
There are also obvious parallels to the work of younger artists’ pictorial formulations: the magical presence of a tree branch by Inka and Niclas, or a door by Henrik Strömberg, reveals the fragility of being and the surreal moments of subjective experience, moments which are likewise inherent in the artistic understanding of Susa Templin and Yuken Teruya. In a similar way, Julia Peirone also thematizes identity in the self-interrogations of her youthful portrait pictures. And Sascha Weidner’s images raise existential questions in a similar was just as they enchant the eye. The disembodied heads of Strömholm’s pictorial world are also reflected by the cruel metamorphosis of the doll’s face in Linda Bergman’s work. Such graphic references result in a dialogue between the old master and the thirteen artists displayed in the exhibition.
Strömholm, as one of the main proponents of modern photography had already abandoned the documentary and narrative character of the medium behind and Dawid (Björn Dawidsson), as the founder of a postmodern understanding of photography in Sweden, find the genesis of their oeuvre in an experimental pictorial language. Contemporary positions such as those in the exhibition work in a wide variety of ways and against the background of today’s post-photographic understanding on the expansion of the medium into real existing space.
Text: Franziska Schmidt
Johan Österholm | Apparent Magnitude
September 26 – November 17, 2018
Presented in conjunction with the European Month of Photography, Österholm’s first solo exhibition in Germany integrates older and more recent works on the subject of light pollution. For many years now, and from various perspectives, Österholm has focused on light, the central yet least tangible element of his medium. Using astronomical observations, archival research and captivating punchlines, this exhibition presents experimental works, photographic landscapes and sculptural objects to remind us that light is not only natural, but also a source of political conflict with respect to the control of light and darkness within the city.
The three-part series Some Moonwalks (2017), for example, was created on the Isle of Sark in the English Channel. The island is considered a region with a natural, extremely dark night. On his nocturnal walks across the island, where the human eye can hardly see anything, Österholm’s camera was able to visualize the pale landscapes drawn by the clear moonlight on the island.
In recent works such as Concealer (2018), the perspective is reversed. It is not the essence of pure moonlight, but the dim light of urban street lamps that becomes the subject and artistic material. Lantern Smashers (2018) interprets the streetlight as a political symbol of control. In the 19th century, newly erected lanterns were sometimes demonstratively destroyed. Österholm’s pictures of sparrows that have occupied urban gas lanterns interpret today’s vandalism or decay as a memory of those struggles for darkness in the city.
The artist uses old astronomical negatives from observatories and exposes them using street lamps creating fascinatingly complex, black and white composite images. In Antique Skies and Untitled Lantern Pieces (both 2018) Österholm used a primitive method of early photography. For hours he exposed an astronomical yearbook and the glass pane of a street lamp with the negatives of those constellations that the light smog of the 20th century made invisible.
Concurrent with the exhibition at the Dorothée Nilsson Gallery, a selection of additional works by Österholm’s can be seen at the C/O Berlin’s group exhibition Back to the Future. These combine to offer a broad range of his attempts to make the darker sides of light become visible.
Johan Österholm was born in 1983 in Borås, Sweden. He graduated from the Malmö Art Academy in 2016 and he now lives and works in Stockholm. His creations, in such diverse media as photography, video, sculpture and installation, have been frequently presented in solo and group exhibitions, including the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Copenhagen Photo Festival, FOAM, Amsterdam (NL), Hasselblad Center, Göteborg (SE), The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik (IS), Palazzo De’ Toschi, Bologna (IT) and Borås Museum of Modern Art (SE).
Susa Templin | Sites and Constructions
June 30 – September 22, 2018
In the exhibition “Sites and Constructions”, Dorothée Nilsson Gallery presents works by the internationally active artist Susa Templin for the first time.
These are photographic-sculptural spatial studies from the series “Interiors and Other Rooms”, “Zimmer, Türen, Berlin” and “Sites and Constructions” that were created between 2015 and 2018. The new, “in situ” work was created for the exhibition in the gallery.
“Susa Templin explores the question of how spaces and memories permeate each other. Her photographic investigations lead to extensive installations. In the alternation of material and scale, models of paper and cardboard are created, which are photographed and further processed from different perspectives. They are independent sculptures and at the same time provide the motifs for further photographs.
The artist deals with images of memories that reappear in new compositions in spatial abstraction. Image by image and layer by layer, often by multiple exposures, the photographically captured space is deconstructed, distorted in perspective and subjectively reassembled. Statics and perspective are suspended. Interior views become facades, exterior views become enigmatic interiors. The views distort optically and in reality in the folds of the folded picture walls.
For Susa Templin, spaces are nested storage media and she traces this universal, timeless memory of space photographically and architecturally.This creates spatially accessible, photographic spaces of dreamlike lightness and fragility.”
Luminita Sabau, 2018
Susa Templin studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main and at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. Her photographic and three-dimensional, walk-in installations have already been shown in the Kunsthalle Mannheim, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, DZ Bank Kunst-Sammlung in Frankfurt a. M., Folkwang Museum Essen, Berlinische Galerie, Museum für Photographie Braunschweig and many others.
Inka and Niclas | 4K Ultra HD
April 27 – June 23, 2018
The solo exhibition 4K ULTRA HD of the Swedish artist duo Inka and Niclas deals with our consumption of landscapes through (camera-)lenses and screens. Our image of the landscape is formed by photography and nature is constructed by the stream of images on our screens. The photographic works and installations of the exhibition focus on the â€œ4K ULTRA HDâ€ image search by the same name.4K HDor 4K ULTRA are terms used in the display industry to illustrate that their screens have a True-to-life picture quality.
Search algorithms list the most popular images in descending order and define which images we like to surround ourselves with, which images we download and save as desktop background on our computers. They are pictures that somehow radiate a kind of security or safety or convince through their beauty. When searching the web for “sunsets”, most images contain the sea, a palm tree or a dolphin in addition to a sun. We know exactly what a northern light looks like without having experienced it.
The sun has fixed its position in the sky, bound to a stick, it remains in its most popular position. The sunset extends over the palm leaf, a sparkling nebula from the NASA archive silently floats at the edge of the beach. BLOBS (unformed drops of water) in space or rocks that have been polished over time float in the photographs and camouflage themselves in front of the viewer. The family that cannot be captured in a photograph traveled again, updated their profile and posted again. A reality that can only be experienced through a photo, everything happens in the moment of exposure.
The artist duo travels together, seeking places to continue their practice of creating a different representation of nature, using the photographic image to capture their landscapes. Integral to their practice is the wish to consider what it is in a sunset over an ocean or the view of a mountain range that is so emotionally spellbinding and continues to fill us with awe? What is it that drives us to go out there and collect these images over and over again. Inka & Niclasâ€™ practice evolves around an exploration of the different components that constitute the powerful psychological effects of different natural phenomena and landscapes.
â€œUltimately, [Inka and Niclasâ€™] work revolves around these sought-after landscape motifs. They regard the almost automated influx of them to our screens as a contemporary ritual and try to approach the complex mechanisms that give a sacred character to panoramas. In the exhibited works the idealization of nature has gone into spin and the landscape has become fluorescent. Remains of an idealized nature aesthetics have abandoned the two-dimensionality of the photograph and reached matter again.â€ (Therese Kellner)
Inka (*1985, Finland) and Niclas (*1984, Sweden) LindergÃ¥rd are an awarded artist duo based in Stockholm. Since 2007, Inka and Niclas have been exploring how the constant stream of landscape images, the act of photography andthe intersections between photographicÂ and physical realities, influence us. In 2012, they published their first bookÂ Watching Humans WatchingÂ (Kehrer Verlag), which was later awarded the Swedish Photo Book Prize. Their latest bookÂ The Belt of Venus and the Shadow of the Earth(Kerber Verlag) won the Swedish Book Art award 2016. Inka and Niclasâ€™ works can be found in numerous private collections worldwide as well as in the permanent collections of the Gothenburg Art Museum (Sweden), the Fries Museum (Netherlands) and the Public Art Agency (Sweden).
Martin Mlecko | Against the grain
April 7 – 21, 2018
Photography, film and literature have constantly inspired Martin Mlecko. They became both a subject and a medium for him and have particularly influenced his subtle view of everyday life. In the exhibition “Gegen den Strich”, Mlecko’s world of thought is introduced with a selection of conceptual works from different work phases. Based on the title of Joris Huysmans’ novel of the same name, which is important to him, “Gegen den Strich” (“Against Nature”) alternates between ideas of reality, aspects of beauty and the complex search for their discovery.
Yvon Chabrowski | Faces and Movements
February 3 – March 31, 2018
Spacious video installations and a live performance are presented in the exhibition FACES AND MOVEMENTS by visual artist Yvon Chabrowski at Dorothée Nilsson Gallery in Berlin.
For her current series of works, the artist Yvon Chabrowski (born in East Berlin) dealt with the functioning of three surveillance and recognition systems designed to recognize and evaluate faces, movements or feelings. In a setting consisting of video installations and a live performance, she makes various aspects of these systems visually and spatially experienceable and opens up a fragmented view of the relationship between the image/surveillance image and the body.
“Images and models created by surveillance systems write themselves into the body. How much freedom can you still live?”
FACIAL EMOTIONS ONE TO SIX AND A TO F (2018) is a two-channel video installation. The basis for the performance is the FACS – Facial Action Coding System, according to which common surveillance systems are supposed to recognize and classify six feelings (joy, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust, anger) on the basis of a person’s facial expression. FACIAL EMOTIONS shows two faces, on two monitors hanging freely in the room, performing different facial expressions. But can emotions be determined or even calculated? Can feelings be subjected to an algorithm?
DYNAMICS (2015/16) is a two-channel video installation. It “records the dynamics that unfold within a group in which every individual unconsciously responds to the movements of his or her neighbor: a swarm. The cameras’ frames delimit the boundaries of the performance space. Thus the recording medium itself influences the events taking place in front of the lens, bringing forth the happenings it records. […]The “view from above” is the perspective of the surveillance camera, meant to ensure the controllability of a situation, for instance at mass demonstrations. However, even with the help of this double perspective the actual events can hardly be reconstructed: Each camera image captures a slightly different dynamic, a different moment of escalation, a diverging narrative—although both videos show the very same moment, they by no means appear synchronous.” (Katharina Lee Chichester)
The video installation SCREEN (2017) shows a performer life-size in the space provided by a 40-inch monitor. ” Within an area of 92 x 55 cm, she touches, taps, and presses against the surface of the monitor from the inside. Her body bends and winds in the narrow space. The medial image-space is presented to the viewer as a real space. Although the screen demarcates the medium’s insuperable limit and stakes off the realm of the outside world, the image nevertheless has a profound impact on reality. The androgynous performer appears as a true bodily counterpart, whose gaze the beholder cannot evade. She is both reference person, and hence a normative dimension for the outside world, and creature of a purely medial sphere, herself caught in the technical constraints of the image-world.” (Katharina Lee Chichester)
With FACES, Yvon Chabrowski presents a closed-circuit installation created in collaboration with the visual artist Nicolás Rupcich.
CASSANDRA/MOVEMENT PATTERN (2018) is a Life Performance and will be performed on two separate dates in March. The performance deals with the monitoring system of the same name; CASSANDRA. The relationship between the body and the image or the images of the motion monitoring system can be experienced spatially.
Yvon Chabrowski studied photography at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts with Timm Rautert and Florian Ebner as well as free art at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Lyon. She completed the master class with Peter Piller. In her works, she deals with media-based pictorial formulas, which she separates from her context and thus both alienates and makes tangible in the first place. In this way, her sculptural video installations convey an awareness of the grammar and manipulation strategies of omnipresent media images. Her work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions, including the EIGEN & ART Lab in Berlin (2009 and 2014), the 4th Moscow Biennale for Young Art (2014), Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein (2016)5th Odessa Biennale “Turbulence” and “Between Post-truths and Events”, Frestas Trienal, São Paulo (2017). This year, she received the Aartists in Residence – a programme of the Federal Foreign Office in cooperation with the Landesverband Berliner Galerien (lvbg) – the regional association of Berlin galleries.
Margot Wallard | NATTEN
December 02, 2017 – January 27, 2018
December 2017 sees the Dorothée Nilsson Gallery’s presentation of the long-standing project NATTEN (“The Night” in Swedish) by the French photographer Margot Wallard. Margot Wallard has been working on her multilayered photographic project since 2012 while living in the Swedish province of Värmland. Photography and the unique natural surroundings of Värmland have been instrumental in helping Wallard come to terms with the painful loss of her brother and his partner.
The exhibition, bearing the same name NATTEN, is now offering some impressive examples of the project and for the first time it showcases the photographic book by Margot Wallard, edited and designed by Greger Ulf Nilsson and published in July 2017 by Max Ström Verlag. NATTEN depicts Wallard’s very personal confrontation with the combined emotions of death. The mourning for the deceased, the fear of oblivion, but also the desire for (self-)healing.
“I needed to look death in the face; I found in nature a way of re-poetising it, a place and a quiet calm where I could express the process of questioning what I had just been through. I recorded reality, expressed in its purest form, I scans the things around me the organic material, vegetable or minéral and dead animals I found on my expeditions. By using this means of recording reality in its pure expression, I find a different way of coming to grips with it.”
The publication NATTEN shows Wallard’s long and multifaceted mourning process in various chapters. Images of the scanned, dead animals alternate with photographs of ice formations, minerals, insects and landscape shots. Wallard documents her environment in a forensic manner. But it wasn’t only the environment that interested her. Margot Wallard created her first self-portraits in this photo project. Some blurred images of her body, caused by long exposure, give a seemingly fleeting insight into her soul.
“I used my body as a farewell song and the camera as a shield against the pain caused by the death of my Brother and his partner. I use a medium format to oblige myself to be more quiet and slow.”
Margot Wallard was born in Paris in 1978. She lives and works in France and Sweden. In 2012 she moved to Sweden and founded the Atelier Smedsby with her partner JH Engström. Her project NATTEN was shown at the Landskrona Photography Festival 2014, 2015 at the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam and 2016 at Paris Photo. The series NATTEN was shortlisted for the Oskar Barnack Award and the photo book was nominated for the Dummy Award in Kassel 2015.
Sascha Weidner and Japan
September 16 – November 25, 2017
It entices the flowers–
the storm–but though the garden’s white,
it is not snow,
and what it is that’s scattering
are, in fact, the years of my life!
by Nyudo Saki no Daijo Daijin, in Hyakunin Isshu
(translation from Joshua S. Mostow, Pictures of the Heart: The Hyakunin Isshu in word and image, University of Hawaii Press, 1996, p.424)
The exhibition “Sasha Weidner and Japan” presents a selection of photographs from the “Hanami” series, which were taken by Sasha Weidner during his residency at Villa Kamogawa, Kyoto, Japan in 2013.
The resulting images of the „Hanami“-series share the photographer’s personal view of the cherry blossom season in Japan. The cherry blossom is often associated with the commencement of spring, the act of departure and a new beginning, but also with the ephemerality of nature’s phenomena. In his motifs, Sasha Weidner captures the windblown blossoms or the trees filled with flowers of gleaming white, varying from delicate to vibrant shades of pink, emphasizing their effect through dark, light-swallowing backgrounds.
The fascination with and the beauty of the annual blossoming of cherry trees in Japan becomes clear in Weidner’s photographs. A certain melancholy and sadness can be extracted at the same time, which point towards the end of the cherry blossom and all life’s finitude. Events that shook Japan, such as the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, also make Weidners photographic motifs appear in dark lighting and allow for life and death, the display of splendour, and destruction to be confronted with one another.
Sascha Weidner’s photographs relate to the essential – the flowers, the trees and the petals of the cherry blossom, driven by the wind. Man and his environment, in the form of architecture, are only peripherally invoked in the beautifully composed, photographic recordings. Rather, he seems fascinated by the contrast between darkness and light (Blow II), the ubiquitous symbolism of the Japanese cherry blossom (The Estate of Artist Sascha Weidner, approved Print no. 2) and the intense colors despite the deepest night (Symbiosis II). It is difficult to forget the longing present in Weiner’s mystical, dreamy photographs.
Sascha Weidner’s photographs relate to the essential, the flowers, the trees and the standards of the cherry blossom, driven by the wind. The man and his environment, in the form of architecture, are involved in the well composed, photographic recordings limited. Rather the contrast between darkness and brightness (cf. Blow II) seem to him, the ubiquity of the Japanese symbol of cherry blossom (cf. The Estate of the Artist Sascha Weidner, approved print no. 2) and the powerful color despite the darkest night (cf. Symbiosis II). It is difficult to avoid Weidner’s mystical, dreamy and nostalgia-soaked photographs.
“I am driven, constantly searching, a romantically moved traveller…”This is how Sasha Weidner describes himself on his photographic journey of discovery around the world: Los Angeles, Berlin, Frankfurt, Peking or Kyoto. Weidner’s photographs and their respective titles and then created series call attention to biographical experiences. They can be seen as a metaphor for the highly subjective sensory experience of his surroundings. Sasha Weidner was born in 1974 in Georgsmarienhütte and died in Norden in 2015. He lived and worked in Belm and Berlin.
In addition, the newly published book “The Far Flowered Shore”
Curated and designed by Satoshi Machiguchi, including texts by Bill Berkson, Kota Ezawa, Satoshi Machiguchi and Mariko Takeuchi is presented. Publisher: Koenig Books, London.
The exhibition was realized in cooperation with Conrads Gallery in Düsseldorf.