Monthly Archives: July 2007

There you have it.

Reductio ad absurdum

‘In formal logic, reductio ad absurdum is used when a formal contradiction can be derived from a premise, allowing one to conclude that the premise is false. If a contradiction is derived from a set of premises, this shows that at least one of the premises is false, but other means must be used to determine which one.’

Thank you Wikipedia for reminding me.

An thank you William Hughes for all those sleepless nights. I still feel I deserved it.

And again

Seems I cant help myself. Managed to start three new collages before going home from the office. Will this continue when holidays are over? Will things get out of hands? Will I become one of those strange men who are more myth than person? Will people passing my studio say: ‘Hey, that’s the old studio of that photographer who had a mindslip and started spending all his time gluing old magazines together. Last they heard he bought and old hospitalbuilding in southern France and it´s all covered in collages. My girlfriends uncles aunt saw him once in Finistere where he was buying and old edition of Vogue from 1956.’

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Sunny day – laundry day

Luckily there is an airport station reaching down to the basement. Oh, and I found a collaguist. Now most people would dislike doing the laundry. They have clearly not understood the fact that you, beside the cleaner approach, can listen to punk-rock all you want because your girlfriend ain’t home to give you that your-not-in-college-any-more-and-don’t-even-think-about-skateboarding-ever-again type of look.

Happy B

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Being dear Sebastian’s birthday and all I figured I should make him a surprise. Now how about that cake. The balloon is somewhat puzzling though. I found it in a drawer in the kitchen and borrowed it for the occasion. How did a balloon that can only (at least most likely) come from some press event for the now old book Fittstim end up here? I read it myself when it first came out. Its an unorthodox anthology on feminism. A very good one as well. Just seems a bit odd that it ended up here, the balloon, in this studio.

Any way, happy birthday Sebastian.

On decisions

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Collage The making of modern art by Brandon Taylor

I shall later today endure a 4 1/2 hour bus ride to the place of my birth in order to attend a yearly beach party held by friends of my parents. I will read Collage The making of modern art by Brandon Taylor in order to survive the trip. At the beach party there will be an average age of around 45. I will wear Raf Simons pants, a t-shirt by Simplicité Compliquée, a cardigan by Burberry, sunglasses from Yves Saint Laurent and white Adidas sneakers in order to give the impression of being casual, still not to casual though. For the same reason I will shift from my regular Burberry London cologne to the more young L’Homme by Yves Saint Laurent. I will be polite for about two hours and then I shall most likely go to the far end of the beach alone with a bottle of champagne where I will think hard about my career and its direction. My younger sister will then join me and I will tell her that everything is going to be all right, and that she will find directions in her life once those teenage hormones are out of her body. She is nineteen. Erika will call me on the cellphone and I will tell her that I miss her to. I will then take a train back to Stockholm on which I will listen to playlist made out of Elton John, Gilbert O’Sullivan, David Bowie, Edson, Carly Simon and perhaps some Kevin Rowland. Once back it will almost be monday again and I will take a big step towards my goal and it will be amazing.

On returning

As Erika and I were an hour early for our dinner appointment with dear Paulina and her boyfriend Gustav yesterday evening we sat down in a bar and had a couple of glasses of wine. Started talking about memories and the fact that we both are pretty blank about what happened before we were 20. We did however conclude that the best memories are those from Paris.

Ergo

We will keep our apartment in Stockholm. I will keep my studio in Stockholm. We will get an apartment in Paris. It may take some time to arrange but it will most certainly happen. I don’t think we have ever failed something we really wanted. So in a year from now you will once again find me shopping at Colette for magazines in which I have contributed (did that quite a lot), spending most free time at Pompidou, Kamel Mennour and Palais de Tokyo, with Romain, Tom and Steff at TS74 (and their dog Jewel), the WAD crew and of course having a lot of coffee with BRIFO, secretly looking at his bookshelves for that man has an eye so perfected in finding good inspiration thats it sometimes scares me, and once more be really, really happy.

I don’t think I can escape it. Think about old David Hume and his belief/desire model on human motivation, put forth in the massive volume A treatise of human nature, book I-III. It would simply be against human nature to struggle against this.

Quite Frank

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Frank Stella, Ailio, 1998

Its all sort of strange. But when spending time in Björns gallery, which I have done a lot, I’m always very attracted to this piece of art by Frank Stella. Its not strange at all in one sense. He has for a long time been one of my biggest inspirations, but its always been more about the older black and white ones or the more recent sculptures. What is strange is that its Ailio and those like it that gets my attention. If I am to believe what my concious mind tells me I should be paying my respect to Isca Greenfield-Sanders, her beloved Sebastian Blanck, Patrick Lundeen, Peter Blake and all of the other great painters instead, or at least more, considering there expression, or signans, and the fact that it is closer to what I usually like.

This particular Stella is however impossible to stop looking at. I’ve spent hours trying to figure it out but I cant. It just keeps pulling me back in. Someday I will buy it, oh yes, someday. It is after all an edition and not that expensive, I mean in comparison to the oils. Still some years away though.

See more of them on Artnet.

No tivoli

And no Art Review either. Turned out to be an collage-making evening. Lets consider it art in progress, shot with the cellphonecamera. Maybe it will evolve tomorrow.

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New look

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As usual when I am tired I get ideas I wouldn’t have normally. Today, instead of falling asleep in my colleagues office-chair* I decided I need a new look on my site. Might be a good idea though. At least its not filled with scales and big eyes.

Erika will meet up with Sthlms own partyqueen tonight. As for myself I will perhaps go to Gröna Lund with a couple of old friends. I’m not really in to those things usually. There will be tourists all over and scary, greedy kids who will most likely die at young age due to excessively intake of spun sugar. Maybe I should stay in with a good book or perhaps the new Art Review. On the other hand I hardly ever go out nowadays so I could probably need a bit of reality. But its so frightening, isn’t it?
*which I have stolen for the duration of his vacation, thats what you get for sharing an office with me.

Its continuing

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I have gotten strangely obsessed with the scale and, even more, the eye. I’m supposed to be working with those art books. I have done about one fifth of them, the pile never ends. Then all of the sudden there they are on the glass. The scale and the eye. Sort of freaky. But in a good way. I have dreamt about them also. Grainy dreams in black and white. With the eye constantly watching. Last night a city was built on the scale, and later, after a lot of drama, it was a house. A big house where odd things happened, designed as a giant scale, the scale.

Hannah, Peter and darling Erika

Realized how much I love collage as an art form when I read the Peter Blake catalogue today. His Homage to collagists is amazing. I especially like the Hannah Höch one of course, couldn’t find it on the net though and it feels sort of wrong to scan it. I had the privilege to spend some time alone with it at Wetterling. I could look at it for hours. I can remember felling sad when it was sent away.

Anyway. Decided a good way to show concern could be making a collage, so I made one for Erika.

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Monday setup

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As dearest Erika is spending her day over at Anglais, I’m stuck in the studio shooting art catalogues for a friend. Did the fantastic discovery that you can connect the camera straight in to the computer and manoeuvre it from there. Ha. I’m sitting at the table drinking coffee and shooting at the same time.

Laura mailed and said she´l be here for +46*. Fantastic, she is very nice and I do miss the whole WAD bunch a lot.

*Be sure to get a copy of the magazine, I shot some for it with the fabulous art director Jacob.

Sunday happiness

My beloved Powerbook broke a couple of weeks ago after, or during, a location shoot. This rainy Sunday was finally the day I managed to take myself to the store and get a new one. There is nothing like the smell of a brand new Mac. I cant explain it. It beats everything from summer rains to a glass of champagne when you are overworked. Wonderful.

On fridays and KG Nilsson

Rainy, rainy slow Friday. Will go see the new Harry Potter with Erika this afternoon. Best way to kill time until then might be practicing composition. Shot some still life yesterday and the set were still standing. I find it very hard to understand composition. At first, there is a plan. I know exactly what I am doing and why. Then there is a moment when you just feel something. Feels like being curious really, when you let go and just start placing pieces on the glass. Of course its all about practice and studying. A couple of years ago I was just curious, all the time.

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This I can talk about. Q: Can one justify composition?

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This is just beyond me, I don’t understand anything.

Kind of makes one wonder what was going on in the minds of Mondrian and the other De Stijl artists. Maybe its all about mathematics and not visuals. Should I study that instead of art? Will think about it over the weekend. When composition is this hard with a couple of wooden toys imagine doing it with live models under time pressure and with a team of six people hanging over your shoulder.

Cassavetes for the masses

At 23.00 tonight the Swedish public service television TV2 is showing John Cassavetes masterpiece Shadows. The beat generation at its best in what some say is the birth of American independent movie production. New York nights through the lens of a 16 mm camera. fabulous.

I remember the first time a saw it in Laurent’s apartment. It got me immediately. The feeling is really brutal. A lot of the dialogs is actually said to be improvised by the actors as they went along. And the movie was shot twice. Once in 1957 and then again in 1959. It wasn’t until 2004 a professor in Boston called Ray Carney discovered the lost tapes from the early version.

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Septemberplans

Yes. I did start making a new wall the other day. I’m hoping I can go back in time. Shoot more film. Do less retouching maybe. I have borrowed an old Sinar 4*5 camera by Hans. Yes, its the one in the other picture below. I’m thinking I will work with Polaroid 55 film, the black and white film that gives you both a negative and a positive in one. Its so beautiful. The downside is they are something like 200$ for 20 exposures. Not that much really, but compared to digital its a lot and since the clients are paying Im guessing it will go something like this:

C: Im pretty sure you can do that in Photoshop.
M: Yeah but thats not really the same…
C: Yeah, lets do it in Photoshop instead.
M: But…
C: No.

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The beginning of a collage.

The set

Here is a behind the scenes from yesterday. Just struck me that I have a shoot tomorrow at 09.00. Should start cleaning probably. Everything looks so undramatic when its shot with a flash straight on like that. (Except when its done by Juergen Teller or Terry Richardson of course, then it looks amazing)
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Todays adventures

Decided to make the series I started the other day bigger. Here is the beginning of part II of What is the difference between dreams of men and those of beasts.

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The weight of the world, 120 grams.

Oh no

The downside to a ton of old fashion magazines, a scissor, a couple of razorblades and a lot of glue, is of course when you realize you have accidentally poured some on your favorite Raf Simons pants. The sadness is overwhelming.

Paris, glue and guest portfolios

The lovely people over at Paper mag has been kind enough to give me some space over at them for a portfolio. Thats really nice. Erika is writing about lost Paris days. Kind of sad since we both miss it. I am however spending the day looking at old Polaroids and making collages* for inspirational purposes. Could you think of anything nicer; a ton of old fashion magazines, a scissor, a couple of razorblades and a lot of glue. Might even make a new inspiration-wall, one for this autumn that is.

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*Read in a book the other day that it was actually Picasso who started the whole collage thing. At least in a more accepted way, there was of course these early Italian paintings with crosses and stuff attached to them. Anyway, February 1912 it is, or was rather.

The smiling gallerist.

April 24 2007, 23.48. Outside Wetterling Gallery in the Royal Garden, Stockholm, Sweden. Gallery showing Barry Flanagan.

A light rain on an empthy square.

Klonk klonck. Humpfh. Klonck. The sounds are gentle and somewhat damp, still clearly hearable. There is a flicker in the warm light as something passes the window. Klonk. Moving closer with a feeling one can only describe as curiousity, despite the late hour and unfamiliar sounds deprived of fear in any form. Klonck. A silent laughter, as a gentleman might laugh with a child, not at a child, but a laugh of recognition and aproval. Humpfh. Moving closer to the window. There, just by the front desk is Björn. Smiling, with his hands on his back, balancing on his toes. Left shoe red, right shoe green, with bright pink socks, the kind that goes all the way up to the knee. Klonck. There it is again, something moved just by the window. Klonck. This time lauder with an echo.

Sitting in the corner of the room, making not as much as a sound is Thinker on Rock, Medium. Björn looks at him, smiles. Thinker looks back with an annoyed look on his face. Björn laughes silently, eyes smiling still. Thinkers face turnes slowly from annoyed to huble, giving the impression that the lack of concentration in the room is getting the better of him. Just as he leans his nose back in his left hand Large Boxing Hare on Anvil runs by, obviously without the anvil, setting Thinkers rock in a spin at which point he stands up on it and starts jumping up and down, his hands on his head. Klonck, klonck. Large Boxing Hare on Anvil returns to his anvil with a proud look on his face, chin high up in the air. Björn laughs out loud. Thinker sits down again, looking both sad and furious at the same time. Björn walks over and pets him on the head.

There is a sound coming from the offices. A low vibrating sound that is in some way similar to that of a dog, getting ready to bark. I walk over to the next window, trying not to make a sound. The rain falling on my walking umbrella might give me away but I am willing to take the chance. After all. There is nothing that says a hare prefer the sound of rain falling on the ground over rain falling on a walking umbrella. They dont seem to notice me. They are all to occupied with dealing with things at hand. Nijinski Five and Monument to Letters are in jumping positions. Every muscle tensed. They have cornered Stellas Matah, who doesn’t seem to care for that matter. Ninjinski and Monument on the other hand are like boxers in a ring. They slowly start to move closer, step-by-step. Björn is just behind them now, smiling still. Without as much as a million of a seconds warning, Matah gives out a horn blow. It is as the whole blow section of a marching band has suddenly given in to an urge to express them selves through the instruments they so proudly carry. Ninjinski and Monument jumps straight up in the air, legs moving as those of cartoons. The only thing hearable now is the sound of Björn laughing as the two hares peeks out from behind him. Eyes shifting from each other to Matah, who is still hanging proudly on the wall.

I visit the gallery as often as I can. Never again has anything there given me as much as blink. It makes me very sad. I do however feel, that if I study hard enough and give them enough time, they might give me a performance once more.

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Frank Stella, Matah, 2005

On art and fashion

About a year ago I was in a gallery that I often visit. They were at the time showing James Nares and Santi Moix. I found myself in a long discussion with a visitor there who collects art. We talked about various degrees of abstractness in art, and on deciding what is art*. After a while the kind man asked me what I did as a profession. I told him I am a photographer. He smiled big and was very pleased. He asked me what kind of photographs I take. I told him I do fashion. The smiled disappeared and he was no longer a kind man. He asked me how a creative young man as myself could waste both time and talent on something that is that far away from art, on something that uncreative. Wouldn’t you be better of turning paper in an office, he said, instead of wasting your time running errands for fashion brands.

I don’t know if it is the fact that fashion photography includes clothes, clothes that can be bought. Or that he simply didn’t knew what fashion photography is. Still makes me a bit sad though.

Anyway. Here is an image I did today. It doesn’t contain any clothes or brands or anything like that. I choose to call the series (there are 5 prints) What is the difference between dreams of men and those of beasts with the undertitle The weight of the world as we know it. This particular image is no 5, 60 grams.

Now. What would happen if I placed, say a shoe, in this picture and printed it in a magazine. Would the shoe, or the medium, take away its privilege of being art. Or perhaps it wasn’t art to begin with. My answer to that question is in the footnote below. Buy the autumn issue of Slash magazine that will be out in a couple of month and find out what you think.

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*I am a believer in instistutionalism. The belief that an elite of people that are in key positions in the art world decides what is to be called art. Its not that I believe in elitism. Its simply because it is the only reasonable solution to the problem of defining art. Its all about semantics really. Letting everybody decide for them self would lead to ‘art’ being an empty word as it could incorporate everything. In that case we could just as well call it just that. The other problem with that would be that people wouldn’t understand each other since everybody could mean anything by it.

And lets not even think about functionalism or historicism as they tend to ignore new tendencies on one half and assume that there is an original artifact on the other. (Plato, someone?) I am sure there are plenty of theories out there that says different and I promise I am willing to change may point of view if they should prove better or more accurate. For now I will re-read Robert Steckers Artworks, perhaps it will change my view.

J’ai une âme solitaire

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I have wanted to incorporate graphics in photography for a long time. I have succeeded at times I think. Found this when I was spring cleaning my computer. The original idea was to have shoes and accessories break through the surface of the prints, very dramatic. Today I’m quite glad that the art director talked me out of it.

A somewhat scary fact on the quote is that its not only what Harold Smith wrote as his final words, but also what Brad Delp wrote. 

More Erwin

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I might have said something about him earlier. Erwin Blumenfeld was one of the biggest photographers of the 20th century. Right up there with Irwin Penn and Richard Avadon. Anyway I found this amazing book the other day at my favorite used book store. Its so inspiring. His use of light and constant experimenting is so beyond anything that is done today. Then again I heard from someone that he knew Marcel Duchamp and the Dada scene which could at least begin to explain his printing techniques. He was at some point known as the highest paid photographer at that time. And his work for Vogue and Harpers is brilliant to say the least. I wonder if any photographer will ever be seen as that much of pioneer again. Or are we just blind to our own age? Guess we will find out sooner or later.

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It has come to this

Summer is upon us. I am sitting in my studio waiting for an Art Director to make final selections on a shoot I did a couple of days ago. Not much to do but wait. So I´m gonna go ahead and read up on some art theory. I could really need it. So far I have learned the difference between Signans and Signatum. It raises a problem when translated into Swedish. The author wants to translate them into expression and content instead. As I am somewhat of an conservative when it comes to language I find it a bit silly. What is wrong with Latin? The only thing that this will bring is that nobody will ever know what we swedes talk about.

Reminds me of the translation of Rawls A theory of Justice, which Annika Persson did in 1991 I think. Try Justice as fairness. I dare you.

my autumn

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I was looking for a Burberry duffel coat to prepare myself for the swedish autumn and stumled upon this. I think its from another season but I still wanna have it. Its all part of a bigger plan:

-A duffel coat
-My Prada boots from last winter. I love them still.
-A haircut inspired by Oscar Wilde but even more preppy. Thanks to Tony at Corinne & Friends for that one.
-A lot of reading in front of the fireplace in our new apartment.
-Hopefully my old desk that belonged to my grandmother originally. I had it in my flat when I was studying philosophy in Lund and I really miss it.

If any one knows where to get that Raf, drop me a line.

Raf Simons, I love you.

Trisha Brown

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I borrowed a DVD from a friend a while back. She is working in a gallery that was showing Karin Davie and had the brilliant idea to show Trisha Brown Early Works 1966-1979. Compare Karin’s paintings with Trisha’s choreography and you will get it. Trisha has stuck in my mind ever since. I keep watching that DVD (yes, got my own copy now) and just cant get over it. Its so good.

In Walking on the Wall, dancers in harnesses are moving along a wall, while Roof Piece took place on 12 different rooftops over a ten-block area in New York, with each dancer transmitting the movements to a dancer on the nearest roof. She was also a founding member of the Judson Dance Theater back in 1962, and has made collaborations with Robert Rauschenberg.*

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*He designed sets and costumes for Glacial Decoy, 1979.

more danish

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It seems like they got really good making magazines as well lately. Both VS and Cover are sort of breathtaking in their own way. The size of VS and their use of different papers is also very nice.

When I studied  photojournalism at the university we were always talking about the danish approach. They took home all the prices. I think it might have something to do with using adjustment layers in photoshop though. Doesn’t really matter.  They do great work.

The danish got it right

Louisiana is a must see anytime. This august however they are going all the way. From 24/08/2007 To 13/01/2008 they are doing a big retrospective on Richard Avedon. Ohh, imagine those 150 prints and that fabulous garden. Oh, the jealousy… For the first time in my life I actually want to be danish. I mean sure, they make great beer even if I do prefer wine, but those red hot dogs are just not ok, sorry. And they have Henrik Vibskov of course whom I like. I shoot him once for Odd at Large. Its a funny story Ill save for another time. I can say that it involves Henrik, me, pigs, rain, almost a car accident and Sebastian.

Art, porn and digital liberalism

I might not agree to the whole idea about art being free and so on. Despite the fact that I am swedish with our tradition of socialism and all that*. UBUWEB is still the best place to go when one needs inspiration, except maybe the modern museum, but its raining so that doesn’t count. Have a look at their film section which is remarkable. The ‘Cinema of Transgression’ and ‘Flux films’ can keep me going for hours. The Yves Klein film with his fire etchings.** Then there is the Francis Bacon, Paul McCarthy, Orson Welles and Robert Rauschenberg.*** And then of course the Richard Kern movies My Nightmare and Thrust in me, which are not only creepy and kind of pornographic (or REALLY porngraphic), but good as well. I cant think of anything more provocative than his work, still he did come from the porn industry to begin with.

Beside the movies there is also tons of poetry, sounds and texts. Visit UBU.

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From Richard Kern ‘My Nightmare’

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From Yves Klein ‘ Anthropometries of the Blue Period and Fire Paintings: Two performances’ 1960

*All that is coming to an end though with our new right wing government, they are pure evil. You might go as far as to say that they are to Sweden as a country what the Toxic avenger was to all the footballguys… Except that you actually cheered for the Avenger which is not true in this case.

**Still one of the best exhibitions I have seen. The big retrospective at centre pompidou, thank you Brifo. Have to say though, that the Dada and the William Klein was even brighter. I hate myself for not buying the big Dada book. Not to late maybee.

***Monogram lives in Stockholm. I take Erika to see it in the weekends. She always laughs.