Time Loop Rabbit Hole
Erik Gustafsson

20.05–12.06.2022
MELK

Erik Gustafsson (b. 1987) is a Swedish artist currently based in Gothenburg, Sweden. He holds an MFA from the Valand Academy and has presented his work through exhibitions in the Nordic region and internationally. Recent exhibitions include NSFW/Svilova in Gothenburg, Gallery Steinsland Berliner in Stockholm, as well as the Mariatorget subway station in Stockholm. He also presents his work through publications, where he examines the format as an alternative exhibition space.

MELK is excited to end our spring season with Erik Gustafsson’s second solo show at the gallery titled Time Loop Rabbit Hole.

Gustafsson begins with his personal archive of photographs, which he reworks into abstract pictures. His process often involves cycles and loops of photographing, developing, printing, re-photographing, and scanning. The resulting pictures can be seen as metaphors for memories, where traces of the process are layered on top of each other.
Or, simply as pictures demonstrating the potential for change that lies in the act of reproduction.

In this exhibition, Gustafsson is showing 11 new works. By turning accidents and intuitive actions into a playful way of working, he has created a series of pictures that all have replaced the reality of the original photograph with their new appearance.

Solarization, a darkroom technique that creates partly or wholly reversed tones, is the experimental process Gustafsson has explored when making these works. The technique was a staple of experimental photography in the first decades of the twentieth century. For the artist and theorist László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946), polarization was an example of an “intensified” manner of seeing that he associated with the use of chemical manipulation more generally. Seeing is intensified also in Gustafsson’s solarized works, in which several of the prints hold barely legible figurative motifs. Hence making the works oscillate between what is represented and being present.

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