This is Farewell

Erik Gustafsson

2015 - 2018

This is Farewell is an autobiographical story which aims to explore the indeterminate borderland between fictive and documentary photography. By returning to his birthplace, Gustafsson is examining and raising questions about the relationship between parent and child, and how our origin and heritage shape the process of coming into being. He plays with the idea of the family as a battleground, of becoming and liberation. The portraits of his parents and grandfather, carefully selected and combined with self-portraits and landscapes, evoke the burning clashes of trust and betrayal, of love and rage.

In this series, the family bond is untied by the light of exposure, not directed against the subject, but against the photographer himself, in relation to the subject. Photographs of photographs inside the home, create stories within the story, employing a familiar way of preserving and remembering members of the family tree. This series shows that photography is a way to verify one’s own and other’s existence, and also a way of staying connected to each other.

The images mainly reflect Gustafsson’s view and perspective on these relationships, but rediscovered video tapes also add another layer of perspective; the parental gaze on the child. It is the personal, the private life that is depicted and presented to the world, and the boundary between the private and public is blurred out. The question is where the secret, the private, begins and where it ends?

The full series consists of 86 photographs that I wish to present as a book.

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