Att få vara med, att få vara någon
Confidence and apprehension characterize a person’s existence. The bullied child who goes to school every day to meet his detractors. The unaccompanied refugee. The one who made a mistake and wants a new chance. The one who longs for home and wants to return. The one who was left behind, who was left over, who no one wanted. The one who is waiting for someone who will never come back. The one three storeys up who prepares supper and sets the table for one person. Att få vara med, att få vara någon means to be a part of, to be someone.
“Out in the schoolyard, I emptied my pockets of boiled potatoes that had turned into mush inside my light blue cardigan. I was so nervous that I was shaking, but now the danger was over for today. The first weeks had been hell, I could not eat at all and just longed for home.” Johansson
“All five of us drove through the spruce forest in a red Opel Kadett. I used to sit behind my mother and smell her hair. There was a blue pillow with a red pattern in the back seat. I took it with me when we changed cars.” Johansson
“He lived a few floors above me, I used to see him wandering around. He always looked down at the ground and fluttered around as if he had lost something. We did not know each other but I remember some spontaneous meetings. Once just before Christmas, I was sitting on the bench in the entrance when our eyes met. He rumbled forward in a dull voice, “Then I can take the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas”, then he pushed open the front door and went out into the snow. Another time was an early Sunday morning when the sun had risen. I was on my way home when I met him in the stairwell and he said, “I can not sleep, so I thought I would take a walk.”. One last time was when he came panting down the stairs and asked, “May I go with you?”. I held the elevator door for him and he collapsed on the wall-hung chair. He had no posture left and just looked down at the floor, he seemed exhausted.” Johansson
Pär Johansson (b. 1968) is a Swedish photographer who creates his designs with a large format camera and 8”x10” sheet film. His work usually reflects observations of the present, of emotions and of involvement sometimes real, sometimes fabricated and sometimes desired. Johansson describes his thought process as a bit “1, 2, 3”, meaning before something, something and after something. Johansson completed the Kulturama higher education in photography and his projects have been shown at several Liljevalch’s Spring Salons, the Edsvik Konsthall Autumn Salon, the Centrum för Fotografi in Stockholm, the Democratic Institute Gallery, the Wetterling Gallery and the Forum Riche Sture in Stockholm.