In Brightness Hiding (the failure… Carl-Mikael Ström challenges the idea that photography is a language and asks the viewer: what can be shown but not said?

The impressions from observing the world reflect our cultural knowledge, lessons, and language. Consequently, we interpret what we see. For example, people identify an apple as an apple because it is something we recognise and can relate to. This is what Ström calls the “logical picture.” Ström wants to depart from the concept of the recognisable and logical and go beyond the boundaries of language to reach a category he has called “possible images.” Ström believes there is isomorphic tension between the photograph and the actual object it reflects and that within this tension lies the strength of photography. The photographs are presented as a visual ladder, aiming to reach the “possible images” within our senses. “I do not talk photography, and I do not talk about photography”.

Brightness Hiding (the failure… Is Carl-Mikaels Ström’s first solo exhibition, the exhibition has been produced in collaboration with the artist and the Helsinki Photo Festival.

Carl-Mikael Ström was born in 1986 in Sweden. He studied at the photography school Fatamorgana in Copenhagen under the guidance of Morten Bo from 2013 to 2014. Between 2014–2018, he assisted the Swedish photographer JH Engström. Ström works in photography, film, and poetry. One of Ström’s visual characteristics is the various manipulations and adaptations he makes in his images through chemistry, painting, and various forms of printing techniques, to show how he sees his reality. Time is his primary tool. Ström’s first monograph Montöristen was published by the Greek publisher VOID in 2019. In 2020 Carl-Mikael was one of the finalists in the Helsinki Photo Festival´s open call on the theme Trust, and a few of his works were exhibited in the Nordic Village group exhibition at the National Museum of Finland.

The exhibition is curated by Rafael Rybczynski and is arranges with the support of The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, The Embassy of Sweden, The Swedish-Finnish Cultural Foundation and Helsinki Photo Festival.

The opening of the exhibition is May 30 from 16:00-18:00. Gallery Hanaholmen is open daily from 10 to 20, free entrance.