Next to the beautiful ‘Invisible Machinery‘ series by Japanese photographer Toru Ukai, we had one undisputed favorite series of work on display during last weekend’s Unseen Photo Fair: the incredible ‘Statues’ by Swedish born and Berlin-based Henrik Strömberg. In all the images of the photographic artist one encounters the world, remote, removed, almost as if disappeared. Places become difficult to locate, plunged into darkness, half empty rooms, left-behinds; and in the case of the series as seen in Amsterdam deformed statues. In his series ‘Statues’, which was one of the two series on display in Amsterdam, he took his vision to the iconic shapes of ancient sculptures, deforming them to a new austere composition, from which results this certain inward-looking nature, a deep and universal self-reflection. His view penetrates the invisible, seizes it and gives it a shape. A connection is created between the inside and the outside, the true essence of things and the mere sense of things — resulting in a new shape and aesthetic that both attracts and repels, but never fails to captivate.
Decoding these pictures is not simple. Although they are resonating with suggestion and anticipation, the enigmatic moment always remains, disallowing you to disengage. Once you begin to immerse yourself, you become pulled over to the other, the inner side, beyond the effigy. One is on one’s own. The world stands still. Time stands still.
Henrik Strömberg is a photographer, who does not mystify. No bluffs, no sensations. He neither paints us a picture of the romantic, picturesque idea of nature or civilisation, but a picture of the sublime, the unique, which can be found within things. He is a photographer, who photographs the nothing, and the everything.
The photographer is represented by the Grundemark Nilsson Gallery, who presented his beautiful work at Unseen.
For more work by Henrik Strömberg see here