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Inka & Niclas change the landscape

People and places come together in the strangest way for this photographic duo
Inka & Niclas, SAGA VIII (2011)


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Swedish photographic duo Inka Lindergård & Niclas Holmström are anthropologists as much as they are image-makers. Their two series you can see here, SAGA and Watching Humans Watching are alluring, deceiving and incredibly quirky. Both are linked by the subject of unspoiled nature. On first viewing you may be surprised to learn that most of the pictures in both series were shot at the same locations.

For Watching Humans Watching, the Stockholm-based duo spent the last four years capturing the dynamic between humans and nature. They take an objective approach to their subjects, similar to the way landscape photographers photograph wild animals.

"Watching Humans Watching came to deal a lot with our perception of nature as the great unknown, expectations of what the nature is and how we are supposed to act in it." Inka & Niclas say. "When we went on an organised safari to the Ngorogoro-crater in Tanzania we noticed that groups of safari tourist showed behaviour very similar to the flocks of animals in the park. By detaching ourselves from the natural environment and from the groups and individuals we found there, we were are able to approach our subjects with the same distance a nature photographer applies when he shoots for example birds or deers."

The other series SAGA, developed shortly after Watching Humans Watching, deviates from pure observation and explores the natural world as a mythic place with each photograph capturing the photographers’ view of nature as a make-believe wilderness, which they say was stirred by stories of the supernatural wild. 

"Our work starts with an interest in something," they continue. "During 2009 we spent the summer in the northernmost parts of Norway, people were traveling from all over to see the midnight-sun, which is basically a long sunset. We got interested in the attracting force of the sunset and the colours it produces, so we started applying colours of that spectrum - red, pink, yellow, blue - using a flash, smoke or spray cans; trying to transfer that magic of the sunset on to various scenes and objects. At one point we picked up a mirror at a flee market, and next night we brought that a long with us and started to try to isolate the colors of the sunset in the mirror."

The word "Saga" means "fairy tale" or "myth" in Swedish, and according to the artists, "They can be seen as small building stones: sets, scenes, props and characters from an unwritten story. A mood board for anyone creating a fairytale."


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