Between Realities

Photography in Sweden 1970 – 2000


February 8 – May 11, 2014

Gothenburg Museum of Art and Hasselblad Center


From black-and-white protest photographs to conceptual large-format colour photography. This comprehensive exhibition is the first attempt to gauge Sweden’s photographic history during the period 1970-2000. It presents both classical images and photographs that have never before been shown, by more than 50 photographers from different generations.


Between Realities.  Photography in Sweden 1970-2000  investigates the photographic landscape in Sweden over three decades. This was a dynamic period in Swedish photography, and one that has hitherto not been explored to this extent, where one of the most pronounced tendencies is the development from politically-coloured documentary photography to the photograph’s current prominence in contemporary art and mass culture. The exhibition fills in a large gap in the understanding of photography’s recent history and is a unique collaboration between the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg Museum of Art and the Hasselblad Foundation.

The exhibition features works by more than 50 photographers from different generations. The project surveys and analyses various leading photographic practices and styles. 1970s photography was strongly influenced by documentary ambitions. In the 1980s, more subjective and artistic approaches came to the fore, and in the 1990s, photography enjoyed a prominent position in postmodern contemporary art. The purpose of  Between Realities  is also to look beyond the division into decades, to show how different tendencies impact on each other and stretch over longer time periods. In order to achieve a complex historical picture, the exhibition also highlights the anomalies and continuities in the photographic field, and the boundaries between different realities.


The project was initiated by Niclas Östlind, doctoral student at the Valand Academy, as part of his doctoral thesis,  Performing History. Photography in Sweden 1970-2014.  The thesis will be submitted to the Valand Academy in Gothenburg in June 2014.



The exhibition team:
Kristoffer Arvidsson, head of research, and Johan Sjöström, curator, Gothenburg Museum of Art

Elsa Modin, librarian,

Dragana Vujanovic, curator, and Louise Wolthers, PhD, Hasselblad Foundation

Niclas Östlind, doctoral student, Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg


An extensive book will be published in conjunction with the exhibition by Bokförlaget Arena, designed by Petter Antonisen. This book, which gives a deeper insight into 30 years of Swedish history of photography, is the annual book of the Swedish Association for Art (SAK) for 2014 and is its 123rd publication since 1892. SAK’s series of publications includes books on many painters and sculptors, but this is the first comprehensive survey of how photography was established as an artistic discipline in Sweden.

During the time when  Between Realities  is shown in Gothenburg, the exhibition  The Visible.  Contemporary Swedish Photography  will be shown at Artipelag in Stockholm. The exhibition is a collaboration between Niclas Östlind and Artipelag’s curators Jessica Höglund and Magnus Jensner. It is an extension of  Between Realities, and together the two exhibitions cover photography in Sweden from 1970 to the present day. The exhibition and the catalogue at Artipelag are also part of Niclas Östlind’s doctoral thesis on photography at the Valand Academy.


Photographers featured in  Between Realities  at the Gothenburg Museum of Art and the Hasselblad Center:


Lotta Antonsson (b. 1963)

Yngve Baum (b. 1945)

Micke Berg (b. 1949)

Ola Billgren (1940–2001)

Stina Brockman (b. 1951)

Miriam Bäckström (b. 1967)

Trinidad Carrillo (b. 1975)

Carl Johan De Geer (b. 1938)

Dawid (b. 1949)

Lennart Durehed (b. 1950)

Cecilia Edefalk (b. 1954)

Ann Christine Eek (b. 1948)

Bruno Ehrs (b. 1953)

Monica Englund (b. 1935)

JH Engström (b. 1969)

Johan Fowelin (b. 1955)

Åsa Franck (b. 1958)

Hans Gedda (b. 1942)

Andreas Gedin (b. 1958)

Catharina Gotby (b. 1955)

Kenneth Gustavsson (1946–2009)

Åke Hedström (b. 1932)

Jean Hermanson (1938–2012)

Walter Hirsch (1935–2012)

Jens S Jensen (b. 1946)

Gerry Johansson (b. 1945)

Stig T Karlsson (b. 1930)

Annica Karlsson Rixon (b. 1962)

Patrik Karlström (b. 1964)

Eva Klasson (b. 1947)

Kent Klich (b. 1952)

Anders Kristensson (b. 1958)

Åke E:son Lindman (b. 1953)

Tuija Lindström (b. 1950)

Maria Miesenberger (b. 1965)

Per L-B Nilsson (b. 1946)

Ingrid Orfali (b. 1952)

Anders Petersen (b. 1944)

Björn Rantil (b. 1943)

Martin Sjöberg (b. 1957)

Stig Sjölund (b. 1955)

Gunnar Smoliansky (b. 1933)

Christer Strömholm (1918–2002)

Jan Svenungsson (b. 1961)

Otmar Thormann (b. 1944)

Christer Themptander (b. 1943)

Lars Tunbjörk (b. 1956)

Annika von Hausswolff (b. 1967)

John S Webb (b. 1950)

Sven Westerlund (b. 1953)

Fredrik Wretman (b. 1953)

Thomas Wågström (b. 1955)

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