Where I met myself – Jerry Uelsmann

Where I met myself – Jerry Uelsmann

Opening August 11, at 17-20
Artist talk with Jerry Uelsmann, August 12 at 2pm
The exhibition is open August 12 – October 29, 2017. NB! Closed 27-29 September
Guided tours of the exhibition on October 7 and 19

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Jerry Uelsmann (US) is a forerunner of surrealistic photography and photo montage. In his  darkroom he creates dreamlike worlds that appear to be taken from another universe. With an interest in the human subconscious, Uelsmann raises questions about our external and internal reality.

Decades before the birth of digital image editing programs like Photoshop, Uelsmann created photo montages by combining several negatives in the darkroom. With relatively simple analogue darkroom techniques, such as dodging, burning and using contrast filters, Uelsmann has become famous for his craftsmanship. Seamlessly he merges up to seven different negatives in each image. In Uelsmann’s imagery, photography is not about taking photos of things for what they are, but rather for what they can become. Trees turn into giant jellyfishes that weightlessly floats over a mountain scenery, a waterfall transfers into a tree trunk before it reaches the ground, water is flowing out of a painting representing an open sea.

Uelsmann’s career accelerated in the US during the 1960s, and today he is considered a pioneer in photo montage and multiple exposures. Until the 1970s, the American photo scene was dominated by photographers who sought to depict the reality with the utmost sharpness and detail. With his poetic and imaginative images Uelsmann challenged the current perception of what photography could be. Together with photographers such as Duane Michals (b. 1932) and Robert Heinecken (1931-2006) he created a new paradigm in American photography.


Where I met myself consists of 48 photo montages, several of them never previously exhibited before. With images of landscapes, forests and seas where the laws of nature and gravity appears to have stopped, the exhibition is the first ever to focus on the nature in Uelsmann’s photos. The title derives from Uelsmann’s photograph Small Woods Where I Met Myself made in 1967 and the exhibition is curated by Moa Petersén – associate professor in art history and visual studies, and Anna-Karin Andersson – art director at fotogalleriet [format].

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Jerry Uelsmann (b. 1934) lives and works in Gainesville, Florida. In 1960, he received a Master in Fine Art at Indiana University and the same year he began teaching photography at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He became a graduate research professor of art at the university in 1974, and is now retired from teaching but is still active as an artist. Uelsmann’s work has been exhibited in more than 100 individual shows and his photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Moderna Museet in Stockholm. In 2015 Uelsmann received the prestigious  The Luice Award for ‘Achievement in Fine Art’.

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Read the review in Sydsvenskan by Thomas H Johnsson here.
(note: in Swedish)