Anna Strand (SE)
Conversation with I
Exhibition runs from 6 February - 19 March
- ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Swedish artist Anna Strand’s multi-facetted approach to photography has gained her a unique position in contemporary art. In her work she draws on photography as well as text, incorporating diverse materials such as found and staged photographs, video, printed texts and objects that she organizes in the form of installations or photo-sculptures.
Her most recent series Conversation with I now on show at Peter Lav Gallery is an exploration of her year-long fascination with collectors and most specifically objects in their collections. In her view there are multiple parallels between taking pictures and collecting, for instance that both can be seen as attempts at mastering and controlling important as well as more insignificant aspects of life, in some cases maybe even influencing and changing life itself.
In Strand’s own words:
Several years ago I incidentally heard of the alleged collector “I” through some mutual acquaintances. After some hesitation I got in touch with her, asking if I could visit her home and see the collections. She answered that I was most welcome to pass by for a cup of tea and to see whether I could make anything out of it. That became the start of a conversation centered around selected collections and objects that has gone on for almost three years. During that time it has dawned upon me that it is not so much the objects that take me in but rather the values and narratives either “I” or myself invest in them.
In some cases I interpret “I”’s collecting as being in opposition to dominating norms of beauty and bodily ideals. In others it is my own reading of the objects that invest them with an aura of remains or remembrances of ritual actions performed by “I”, perhaps in an attempt to resolve a feeling of being at a disadvantage or to get to terms with the passage of time. “I” collects and I collect “I” through my documentation of those elements of her collections that reveal something about her and that simultaneously brings forth something – perhaps identification – in myself. At that level the collected work Conversation with I becomes a sort of double portrait, mirroring both the potential and the difficulties of representation and selection.
Anna Strand (b. 1979) studied at Skolen for Fotografi in Gothenburg, Sweden, graduating in 2008. In 2012 she was a resident of Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Yamaguchi, Japan. She has exhibited extensively, e.g. at Göteborgs Kunstmuseum (2016), Artipelag, Stockholm (2014), Malmø Konsthall (2010) and Landskrona Museum (2010). She has received grants from Helge Ax:son Johnssons stiftelse (2011), Claës Lewenhaupts (2009) and Malmö Stads kulturstipendium (2006). In 2010 she published her first book entitled Nu inser du att jag samlat på dig (Now you realize that I have been collecting you), and in 2013 Nagoya Notebook, which was awarded Svenska Fotobokspriset i 2014. Anna Strand’s work is represented in collections such as Göteborgs Kunstmuseum, Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, the Swedish Arts Councial and Landskrona Museum.