Disused greenhouse glass, silver gelatin emulsion, light of the full moon, wooden structure.
200 x 190 x 70 cm.
Installation view from The Camera's Blind Spot III: LA CAMERA. On the Materiality of Photography, Palazzo De' Toschi, Bologna, 2016.
”When dealing with photography – and his work is based in large part on this medium - the young Swedish artist Johan Österholm looks to the moon, and not just as a subject. It is the pale, silvery light of this orb, so rich in literary and artistic associations, that leaves its mark on the artist’s photographs over long exposure times.
To make Structure for Moon Plates and Moon Shards, Österholm recovered panes of glass from an old greenhouse, coated them in silver gelatin emulsion and left them in the moonlight, which slowly inscribed them with its rays. Once developed - the evocative irregularity of the outcome is due to the emulsion, which is difficult to apply evenly - the abstract negatives were mounted in a structure that echoes the greenhouse, transformed into a sort of negative image of itself. Lunar Year is Österholm’s tribute to his paternal great-grandfather, an amateur photographer. Some eighty years after his ancestor’s experiments, the artist has printed one of his original negatives (a glass plate, just like the ones in Structure for Moon Plates...) containing a multiple exposure of the moon that was probably made to test exposure time.”
Text from the exhibition guide to LA CAMERA: On the Materiality of Photography, Palazzo De’ Toschi, Bologna, 2016. Curated by Simone Menegoi.