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Inka and Niclas Lindergård’s photography is attentive to multi-faceted nature

Surrealist photography by Swedish photographer duo Inka and Niclas Lindergård fosters a relationship across the triad of nature, family and camera lens.

by Dilpreet BhullarPublished on : Aug 08, 2023

To make the unseen seen has been the kernel of the discipline of photography. In an effort to achieve this, the photographers have manipulated reality as a way to open a composition for a contemplative engagement. The Swedish photographer duo, Inka and Niclas Lindergård’s photography-based art has incessantly offered insights into contemporary perceptions of nature and the interconnectedness between the photographic medium and the stylisation of landscapes. Their captivating works feature bright utopian landscapes that not only captivate viewers with their beauty but also encourage them to contemplate the cultural aspects embedded within. Through the language of photography, they provide an open gateway to the hyperrealistic synthesis of beauty, kitsch, and the visual desires that permeate our world.

4K Ultra HD (NASA), Photograph | Inka and Niclas Lindergård | STIRworld
4K Ultra HD (NASA), Photograph Image: Courtesy of Inka and Niclas Lindergård

Inka and Niclas's photographic practice, even when perceived as a work of surrealism, for them is more about a fight with the fake realness that is built into the medium. In an interview with STIR, the duo confesses, “Photography is quite sterile and square, which makes it very rewarding when you can break through and load it with this energy. Even if we are thorough, stubborn, and exact, there is always this element of chance involved when we work. We try to create circumstances so that unexpected things can happen. The times we feel we succeed are the times when the uncontrollable forces align and we manage to take photographs that we have not already seen or imagined.” Until now, they have chosen to work in the moment of exposure, in the transition. Moreover, even if they fiddle around too much in the post they risk breaking the spell.

Inka and Niclas’s partnership has been intense ever since they met in 2007 during their photography studies. Synonymous with illusory and surrealist imagery, the duo often spends hours trekking through nature to find the perfect photographic subjects. Waiting in patience they park themselves at a particular spot in order to create an ethereal atmosphere, providing them with a brief window of opportunity to capture the shot. For instance, the night scene or the snow-laden mountains of the photographs even though at first glance seem abstract but on a closer look are an extraction of a lesser-encountered reality.

Family Portrait, Photograph | Inka and Niclas Lindergård | STIRworld
Family Portrait, Photograph Image: Courtesy of Inka and Niclas Lindergård

Throughout their artistic oeuvre, Inka and Niclas have delved deep into our modern understanding of nature, exploring its intricacies through the lens of photography. Their collective notion of what constitutes a picturesque landscape has been shaped not only through immersive travel experiences but compounded by the consumption of nature through the means of technology. Through the lens of the camera and the screens of digital devices the duo partake in the experience of nature, only to validate the existence of humans through this process.

Portrait image of Inka and Niclas Lindergård | Inka and Niclas Lindergård | STIRworld
Inka and Niclas Lindergård Image: Beata Cervin

Recently, the duo decided to expand their ongoing series Family Portrait, which originated after the birth of their first child. Swapping trees for children, they now incorporate their sons into the project. The series explores phosphorescent imagery, featuring self-portraits of the family adorned in reflective clothing against lush backdrops. As nature grows, the photographers highlight the significance of observing the passing of time which is attributed to the evolving landscape, growing bodies, and coming of the new family members. The series Family Portrait captures the self-portraits of the artist duo and their children in settings that are not bound to real-life imagery. Their choice of clothing reflects light back into the camera lens, rendering them anonymous while emanating a radiant aura in the photograph. The camera erases them from the composition only to let the bodies of the family leave glowing holes in the landscape. The photographers have been working on it for close to eight years, however, it has recently gained the eyeballs of the audience.

CEXTRA_ The Secret Night, Aulnoye-Aymeries | Inka and Niclas Lindergård | STIRworld
CEXTRA_The Secret Night, Aulnoye-Aymeries Image: Courtesy of Inka and Niclas Lindergård

The duo confesses to always spending a lot of time, many a time several months, just rearranging works in a model of the space. “We need to find out how the individual works talk to each other. If we move one piece or change the size, it changes everything,” mention Inka and Niclas. It is all about finding tension and liveliness. “If you find yourself thinking about something you ate yesterday it was probably really good food, you do not remember food of average quality,” continue the photographers. If a good show leaves you inspired in one way or another, leaving the visitor still inspired the day after would be something to strive for. This is what Inka and Niclas aspire for.

Currently both are working hard on their upcoming solo exhibition at Chart Art Fair at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Denmark, from August 25-27. They are also doing a larger sculpture to be presented at Tivoli in Copenhagen, in conjunction with the art fair, the sculpture premieres the same day as the fair but will be there for about a month. In November 2023 they will have the opening for their solo presentation at Dorothée Nilsson Gallery in Berlin, Germany.

Inka & Niclas Artist Video at Dorothée Nilsson Gallery Video: Courtesy of Dorothée Nilsson Gallery

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