Johan Österholm

Born: 1983
Nationality: Swedish
Based in: Sweden
Media: Photography, Sculpture / Installation
Content: Conceptual

I'm interested in poetic gestures, of speaking to something that lies beyond the present day, of the traces that previous generations have left behind - and those we ourselves continuously leave. I’m looking for material or immaterial ways to appropriate and visualize these traces and passages through time. Having grown distant from a more subjective movement in photography I’m using the medium to explore concepts that range from buildings as repositories for memory to reanimation of archaic night skies through the alchemic potential of moonlight.

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Mare Desiderii (The Sea of Dreams), 2014, 60x50 cm black wooden frame.

Lunagrams, 2014-

Reluctant Gravities (Santander Moons), 2013, 100x32 cm black wooden frame with black mat.

Teaching a Stone to Talk (working title), 2014- A collision between the right foot of St. Peter, worn down by the entropic force of centuries of pilgrims’ kisses and an anecdote from a Swiss wood carvers school where students were told that a block of linden wood contained ”a little bear in hiding” and that is was their job to carve it out. Inspired by this I’m in the process - admittedly a very long process - of making a sculpture out of a block of estremoz marble by the mere force of my lips.

The Rip (video still), 2013 My sisters hallway in Caen, France, rebuilt from body memory in order to try to repeat the rift in the wallpaper that was left when the stretcher bearers carried her away. A rift that animated the passage of her from the bedroom to the morgue: a rift that I could never fixate internally, that kept being elusive, forever changing shape. This repeated gesture tried to fixate it.

Untitled (Family Composites), 2012 Attempts to make a portrait of family members distant in both time and space. By layering multiple carte de visite’s of family members from the early 1900’s - some of whom emigrated westward, never to return - on 4x5” sheets together with a self-portrait I try to create a generic portrait of what members from cut-off branches of my family tree might look like.

My Great-Grandfather, His Observatory and I, 1925-2011, 60x50 cm walnut frame.

Traces (Ishinomaki), Installation view from SET RISE Bachelor 2013, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts. 72x56 cm inkjet prints mounted on aluminium.

#2-6529 from Traces (Ishinomaki), 2013

Moon Gatherers, 55x40 cm walnut frames.