Sveinn Fannar Jóhannsson
double book launch

Sveinn Fannar Jóhannsson double book launch

Friday September 2013

Portraits by Waiters
Some Los Angeles Apartments

Sveinn Fannar Jóhannsson - Portraits by Waiters - Multinational Enterprises 2013
Sveinn Fannar Jóhannsson – Portraits by Waiters – Multinational Enterprises 2013

Portraits by Waiters contains images of Sveinn Fannar Jóhannsson posing in front of his own camera in different rooms, on different occasions. In his exploration of photography as a means of documentation and the contemporary use and status of the medium, Jóhannsson has created a visual diary of himself.

On every evening during an eight-week residency in Cologne, Germany, Jóhannsson asked waiters and waitresses to capture his portrait while eating dinner. By posing in front of the camera Jóhannsson reverses the role of the artist and the role of the photographic sitter. The operator is replaced by an anonymous person who, uncontrolled and forced, is capturing a portrait of the artist whom consequently becomes the subject of the image. In this sense he removes himself from authorship.

Some Los Angeles Apartments is a remake of the original book by the American artist Ed Ruscha, published in 1965. In Jóhannsson’s version, which is as deprived of people as the original, Ruscha’s apparent lack of artistic skill, and his challenge of what it means to be an artist, is taken a step further: The young artist has – in a classic avant-garde spirit – not made any pictures himself. In this way his book is composed as an extension of Ruscha’s own words regarding his publications as readymade collections. Jóhannsson’s book has recently been included in the exhibition titled Ed Ruscha – Books & Co. at The Gagosian Gallery NYC as well as at the Musum Brandhorst in Munich.

Portraits by Waiters
Oslo: Multinational Enterprises, 2013
148 x 200 mm
110 pages
56 photographic illustrations
Glue bound
Digital print
Unsigned and unnumbered
Print run 250
Text by Sara Rundgren Yazdani

Some Los Angeles Apartments
Oslo: Multinational Enterprises, 2013
Soft cover
143 x 180 mm
48 pages
37 photographic illustrations
Sewn bound
Unsigned and unnumbered
Print run 500
Text by Kåre Bulie

Sveinn Fannar Jóhansson (b. 1977 Reykjavik) (b. 1977 Reykjavík) lives and works in Oslo. He received his MA in visual arts at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, in 2009. His previous solo-shows include amongst others “Proposals for Commissioned Work,” Bruch & Dallas (Cologne); “Wheels and Trophies,” W17/Studio-residency, Kunstnernes Hus, (Oslo); ” Who‘s the Postman Now,” Grünerløkka Kunsthall (Oslo); “From a Point to Another/Material Studies,” MELK (Oslo). The artist shows new works at the upcoming Sculpture Biennale opening at the Vigeland Museum in Oslo on September 12th.