We are honoured to be presenting our second exhibition featuring one of the finest photo artists in the world: Mikael Jansson. The last time, which was almost exactly a year ago, we showed his acclaimed series Speed of Life, in which he depicted another kind of life form at intrusively close range: hybrid beings caught between existence as monstrous speed capsules and as ordinary mortals. Formula 1 drivers spend their lives blazing around at 300 km/h inside high-tech, steel shells. This is the most expensive and masculine of all sports, and he portrays it in shiny signal colours in artificial environments.
Daria in the Archipelago is the absolute opposite of this: classic, dreamy, black-and-white pictures, taken on distant islets, on rocks long since worn and softened by the movements of ice age glaciers. Islands that have become the very essence of innocence, leisure, Swedishness, voluntary solitude, and summer holiday freckles.
With this series, Mikael Jansson further reinforces his unique position, not just as a master of his own genre, fashion photography–no, here, he takes another step into the cultural mythology in which the finest of all Swedish storytellers and lyricists are represented. The company he is joining has members like Evert Taube, August Strindberg, and Ingmar Bergman. While these comparisons are far from modest, they are nonetheless incontrovertibly appropriate. The main addition one might make is that Mikael Jansson is able, rather than objectifying and fixating on the oppositions of male and female, model and artist, or human and nature, to erase these boundaries, and thus achieve a unique sense of intimacy and a timeless, alluring mystique. It ought to be no surprise to anybody that Daria in the Archipelago is destined to be counted among the mainstream canon of Swedish nature romanticism.