Focus A-I-R 2013


Focus A-i-R aims at furthering camera/lens-based art by building networks for artists and cultural producers in the countries of Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Focus A-i-R was initiated by CFF – Centre for Photography (Centrum för fotografi) Sweden, FFF – The Norwegian Association of Fine Art Photographers (Forbundet Frie Fotografer) Norway, and Photographic Gallery Hippolyte/Union of Artist Photographers (Finland) in 2011. Focus A-i-R builds on the bilateral residency exchange of CFF and Photographic Gallery Hippolyte/Union of Artist Photographers (2008-2010).

Focus A-i-R is supported by:
Nordic Culture Point (Kulturkontakt Nord), Arts Council Norway (Norsk Kulturråd), Nordic Culture Fund (Nordisk Kulturfond), The Swedish-Finnish Cultural Foundation, The Finnish-Norwegian Foundation.


AWARDED FOCUS A-i-R ARTISTS 2013 (April – May)

Harri Pälviranta (FI): Residency in Stockholm
Harri Pälviranta (b. 1971) works primarily revolves around the processes under which human beings become societal beings. At the core of Pälvirantas artistic curiosity issues relating to violence and maskulinity are present, and how the two concepts are related. He understands these concepts through broad definitions, which means that he relates to them structurally, as well as subjectively. Pälviranta work within an artistic practice, though with an expression which can be categorized as documentary, however not in a classical way. The documentary expression he uses is not based on ideas of authenticity or indexicality, but rather adresses a critical perspective within a documentary discourse.During his stay in Stockholm Pälviranta performs one part of a larger project on shooting cultures, and will be visiting different shooting ranges around the Stockholm area. He is investigating men’s relation to guns and are posing questions regarding what men are actually doing with their guns. Another work that he is conducting is preparing portraits of the so called school shooters from USA, Germany and Brazil. The series will, when completed, depict twelve of the most fatal school shooters from around the world, starting with Columbine High School year 1999. Pälviranta will give an artist talk at CFF 7 May.

David Molander (SE): Residency in Oslo
David Molander (b.1983) will show works from his series High Rise at Fotogalleriet 9 – 19 May, and relate them to a new body of work developed in Oslo during his residency at Forbundet Frie Fotografer (FFF). High Rise consists of three large-scale photographs and a video deriving from Molander’s stay in New York in 2011 and 2012. During this period he meticulously documented the city with his camera, recording a metropolis that never sleeps and in which time has become almost immeasurable.

By using the technique of montage, Molander has concentrated multiple photographic moments on a singular picture plane so that each work becomes a time capsule for a specific part of the city. Photographed at night and working with a saturated colour palette, Molander’s works are reminiscent of the dark, film-noir style comic set in American metropolises. He thereby transports the viewer into a hyper-reality in which it is possible to examine every detail and peculiarity of a city we cannot stop being fascinated with. Molander will also give a presentation of his work at Fotogalleriet 14 May at 19.00.

Morten Torgersrud (NO): Residency in Helsinki
Morten Torgersrud (b. 1971) makes all his works in the Russian-Finnish-Norwegian border area. His interests lie in the relation between photography and space/place/landscape, what one could call the geographic logic of photography. He is interested in how visual representations of the northern areas are related to historical and political-economic configurations of the northern geography.

The landscapes of the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia are the background for Torgersrud’s exhibition Circulating Sites at Hippolyte Studio 3 – 26 May 2013. This region has over the last decades been through major political-economical changes and is now also defined across national borders – such as the Barents region or Sápmi. These somewhat contradictory configurations of the northern territories are to be seen in light of the influence of a globalised economy upon local landscapes.

Circulating Sites consists of a slide projection, which shows, in a looped presentation, 80 transparencies, combined with a text. The text continues the exploration of photography and place, focusing on works by Ellisif Wessel and Jorma Puranen in the discussion. Both Wessel and Puranen relate to or comment upon territorial and cultural changes in early and late 20th century.

The selection panel for 2013 consisted of

Mitro Kaurinkoski, Director at Hippolyte, Helsiki
Kjersti Solberg Monsen, Director at Forbundet Frie Fotografer
Gunilla Muhr, Director and Curator at Centrum för Fotografi, Stockholm
Stephanie von Spreter, Director and Curator at Fotogalleriet, Oslo
Taru Elfing, Programme Director at Helsinki International Artist programme (HIAP)