26 February — 10 April, 2016

Erik Johansson

Imagine: Created Reality

They evoke emotion, these magical photographs where Erik Johansson created the reality of a fantasy to which he uses photography to capture. Johansson has such a special way to produce his work of art, and with such an exciting result, he was invited to show his work process on the honourable TED talk with the theme “Impossible photography”. From 26th of February to 10th of April, his work will be exhibited at Fotografiska at the same time as releasing the book Imagine (Max Ström Publishing house).

"I want to be for photography what Bob Hund is for the music scene"

The reality I portray exists, but on a different scale. It has become my life’s mission to create these worlds, all these ideas that I have and that I want to live out and to actually see it happening. I’m passionate about inspiring others to dare to live out their fantasies and to create something that inspires them and to challenge one-way thinking. To raise questions, says Erik Johansson.

Issues like this that relates to both the creation and purpose of photography. Where is the line drawn between different elements in the work’s composition, and how they correspond? Where does the interpretation of reality start, and and where does the digital technology? The starting point for Johansson is that everyone’s perception of reality doesn’t need to comply and that every individual has its own unique way of seeing it.

I want to be for photography what Bob Hund is for the music scene. This band who see things the other way around and whose lyrics consist of combinations of totally unexpected themes. That makes it normal to be abnormal, and with the right to exist.

Johansson runs a completely different form of staged photography in which he largely builds models. Johansson constructs objects from what he has around him: Cardboard rolls, flour, water and food colouring, or why not a little coco-flakes for the structure’s sake? Together these basic analogy blocks build the things that before was just in his magical inner world: A lonely man living in air, a tree on the way down through a waterfall of grass, a road that is pulled up with a zipper. All built on a small scale where Johansson then uses Photoshop as his brush to assemble the components into an artistic work. Johansson himself was already at a young age inspired by photography and surrealist artists such as Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Elsa Beskow and Sven Nordqvist, all for their ability to tell imaginative stories. A tradition he manages well with his work that question reality and makes us ask ourselves the mind-evoking question: Why could it not be like this? And if so, how much more impossible may actually be possible?