Little Rehearsal Time
Gallery Steinsland Berliner is proud to present “Little Rehearsal Time”, a solo exhibition featuring work by Swedish photographer Erik Gustafsson.
Through various working methods, Erik Gustafsson’s analogue photography deals with ideas inherent to the medium which go beyond the notion of photography as predominantly a documentary narrative. Freed of the demand to find or construct an instant worthy of preservation, Gustafsson ‘s work instead directs attention to essential photographic elements such as depth, meaning-making, representation, reproduction and the opportunity of experiencing time and space on a one-dimensional surface.
Gustafsson’s chosen motifs range between fully abstract imagery created without the use of a camera, and daily snapshots of people and places. The combination simultaneously validates and reimagines conventional definitions of photography and allows for an end result that emphasizes the possible processes behind an image. Gustafsson’s process relies on countless hours spent in the darkroom and the intuitively controlled experiments he can conduct by virtue of the muscle memory gained from ingrained experience. Repeated cycles comprised of photographing, developing, printing, repeating, re-photographing, circumventing rules and scanning lay the basis for photographs that aim to exist in the place where the immediate image and labored process come together.
Present throughout the exhibition is a painterly quality, one that is particularly evident in the compositions and expressive gestural markings seen in several of the abstract print. Gustafsson sees the photograph as a material vehicle, one that can be manipulated by intuitive action in an approach not too dissimilar to that of painting. The physical labor and experience of hand printing play an important role in Gustafsson’s practice. It allows for trial and error as well as novel expressions. Every act of added creation demands the destruction of the original, an outcome that correlates with Gustafsson’s idea of the first printed image always potentially being the basic condition for further processing and imagining.
Erik Gustafsson (b. 1987) is a Swedish artist currently based in Gothenburg (SE). He holds an MFA in Fine Art Photography from Valand Academy.