Erik Gustafsson – A House of Clay
The birdsong of everyday life interacts with cycles of darkroom creation and destruction in Gustafsson's expressive monograph.
In A House of Clay, Gustafsson places his conceptual and contextual photographic process in dialogue with a simple premise, a truism of photography: to elevate the everyday, to find meaning and take seriously the smallest of occurrences in ordinary life, and to invoke a sense of gratitude and wonder toward consciousness, sensing and feeling. Sometimes excessively normal, elsewhere tender and intimate, later dense and complex, Gustafsson's warm slices of life are digested in the darkroom, where the technical processes of photography fall in on themselves, becoming embedded in the image: cycles of photographing, printing, failing, dodging rules, repeating and scanning.
Balancing consciousness and coincidence, Gustafsson's moments of magical realism speak of a permanence, a perpetual present, where the continually unfinished image can always be, at a later stage, altered, manipulated — and rewritten. In A House of Clay, even the finality of the printed page is punctured; images flip and rotate across the page, sequences accumulate and stack up heady with visual (dis)association, only to dissolve and fold, the print submerged again in the chemicals, the house of clay reshaped again.
Erik Gustafsson (b. 1987) is a photographer and print-maker living in Gothenburg, Sweden. Through montages of photographs of people, places, things and abstract pictures, his work revolves as much around mirroring life itself, as it does around the open interpretation of the meaning of images. After receiving his MFA from HDK-Valand in Gothenburg, Gustafsson’s work has been exhibited internationally and he has previously published two books; Pause Between Thought and Action (self-published, 2022) and This is Farewell (Heavy Books, 2020).
152 pages, 288 × 208 mm, 161 colour plates
Swiss-bound debossed landscape softcover
With texts by Elisa Medde and Louis Nitze
Edited by Loose Joints & Erik Gustafsson
Designed & Published by Loose Joints
LJ197, February 2024