Joakim Eneroth: Swedish Red / Alone With Others
Feb 20 - Apr 11, 2010

The idea of there being a place where everything should be good and agreeable can very easily become characterised as a naive projection. In the photographic series Swedish Red, the artist Joakim Eneroth explores what happens at the intersection between our need for security and our desire for control.

The familiar domestic context of leafy suburban Swedish streets, home to the dream of the idyllic red and white painted wooden villa has become twisted out of shape and transformed into a system of closed private spheres. These are places where fear is manifested in facades, both physical and mental. What becomes visible is a state of mind where the idea of one’s home being one’s castle has been replaced with the need for an impregnable fortress. The neatly cut privet hedges act as barriers against an uncontrollable and unpredictable reality.

Alone with Others is a series depicting public places such as beaches, parking lots, ski slopes and parks; places where we are part of a collective, but still remain anonymous and separate. The situations depicted are like quiet meditations on the complex sensation of wanting to experience a sense of belonging, whilst still maintaining a distance. The series can also be seen as a light-hearted observation of the existential dilemma of knowing that we are alone in our personal experience of life; that human beings are born alone and die alone, a truly universal human experience.

The pictures in the series Alone with Others have been taken in real environments, photographed with a manipulated photographic plate that creates the sensation of looking at miniature landscapes. The series' title comes from Stephen Batchelor’s book of the same name.

Joakim Eneroth lives in Sweden, but works mainly internationally. His work is represented in the collections of the Tate Modern in London, Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York and Paris MEP. Three new books by Eneroth will soon be available, Swedish Red, published by Steidl and Alone with Others and Short Stories Of The Transparent Mind with a foreword by Bill Viola, both published by Powerhouse Books in New York.

 

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Joakim Eneroth