BOOK OF THE MONTH

20.11.2015

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Tout Va Bien is the 16th book publication by Swedish photographer JH Engström, recent winner of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. Even back in the 1990s, long before photo books had become fashionable, Engström’s work was consciously geared towards this particular form of publication. His stories are a carefully composed culmination of single images, linked with one another in very subtle ways – a process Engström refers to as ‘visual poetry’.
  In Engström’s approach, no style is valued above another. Instead, the combination of widely differing techniques is one of the characteristic hallmarks of his work. He shoots in colour and black-and-white, utilises focus, blur and natural light, and photographs with anything from large, medium and 35mm format cameras to disposables, Polaroids and 8mm film.

Engström’s publications have won multiple awards. His first book, titled Shelter (1997) was chosen as Best Photo-book in his home-country of Sweden. His international breakthrough came with Trying to Dance (2004), nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2005. This was followed by specifically theme-driven projects such as La Résidence (2010) which explores the absurdity of the human condition, or Sketch of Paris (2013), a passionate homage to the French capital. In a joint project with Anders Petersen, the photographer also focuses on his roots in From Back Home (2013).

With Tout Va Bien, JH Engström (born 1969) turns his back on the notion of a prevalent theme. Scenes of a birth, the blurred shadow of an old man, poetic nature shots and surreal portraits all culminate in what seems like a personal reflection of the photographer’s inner world, though they are not strictly autobiographical. Tout Va Bien is an associative narrative in which the photographer’s work is distilled into a challenging, yet highly engaging expression of his art. Carla Susanne Erdmann

JH Engström: Tout Va Bien

152 pages

103 colour and black-and-white images

Pre-release: July 2015

Trade release: January  2016
aperture.org

Born 1969 in Karlstad, Sweden. Studied photography and film at Gothenburg University. Assistant to Mario Testino and Anders Petersen. Numerous international grants and awards since 1994.

www.jhengstrom.com
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