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24 January 2023

Johann Husser Reflects On The Weeks Of His Residency At Landskrona

24 January 2023 - Written by PhMuseum

Last year's artist in residence provides some insights from his experience in the Swedish seaside town where he spent six weeks to create new work thanks to the prize offered through the PhMuseum Photography Grant.

Landskrona Foto Residency's production area © Landskrona Foto

For the third year in a row, the Director of the swedish organization Landskrona Foto Jenny Nordquist will assign a residency bursary to an applicant of the PhMuseum Photography Grant. The prize includes accommodation and workspace and a production grant of 15000 SEK (about €1500). Thanks to this exceptional opportunity, last year prize recipient Johann Husser was able to travel to Landskrona for the first time between November and December 2022. Below, he recalls some highlights of his experience and what the chosen artist might expect from their time in Sweden.

Hi Johann, how was to have your work supported by a relevant platform like Landskrona Foto and which are the benefits of embarking on a residency program? 

I think support is crucial, be it from a relevant platform or community. For me, the situation has been special in the way, that the year of the residency was also the year I graduated from University. You can feel lost after leaving your bubble and need to figure out where you’re heading. Hence, it was very fruitful and supportive to embrace this residency, get to know new people and make new connections. You get new perspectives on your work, the one you are doing there but also the one you’ve done before. It is interesting to keep on widening your horizon with new perspectives and I think this residency was very good at doing so. 

Detailed view of the installation produced by Johann Husser during his stay in Landskrona © Landskrona Foto
A seaside view close to Landskrona Foto Residency office © Johann Husser

Can you share some insight about your daily stay in Landskrona? How did the possibility of facing a new community and environment affect your process of producing work? 

My daily stay at Landskrona had a more or less similar routine. I started with a walk after which I did some quick research, or a coffee break at the office. Then I took another walk with the camera from late morning until sunset, which was around 4pm. I was quite productive due to the weather restrictions since I was quite anxious about losing light during the stay. This helped me produce my own archive with which I then worked during the last weeks of my stay. The constant talks and feedback from Jenny Nordquist, Jenny Lindhe and Mårten Lange from Landskrona Team helped me a lot to stay in a flow of thought. It resulted in me being more experimental at times and thinking about the work I did. Also, I felt quite free to try and use the spaces I was able to use. 

What kind of specific support did you receive during your stay?

I loved the cooperation with the Team of Landskrona Foto and loved sharing a space with them. Everyone was very courteous and encouraged me to use the opportunities that Landskrona Foto offers. Wether it meant to use an archive or a specific scanner, I was eager to use every piece of equipment. Beyond this, they were super helpful in connecting me with artists from the region, like Mårten Lange or Gerry Johansson and Lisa Devgun who was setting up a show at the Konsthall of Landskrona. They further gave me an overview of what shows that were on display, the museums to visit and even how to get from A to B. Often they were joining me and offered a contact person who got back to me quickly when I needed some help.

Landskrona Foto headquarter © Landskrona Foto
Detailed view of the installation produced by Johann Husser during the stay in Landskrona © Landskrona Foto

How do you think the work produced (or the research) will develop after the residency?

Interestingly enough, the work that I did at Landskrona Foto connects a lot to the project with which I applied for the residency, something that surprises me since it was developed in a tremendously different environment. It is also nice to see that the work I did in Landskrona can stand as independent body of work. At the same time I am very curious to handpick pieces and connect them with my Proposal For A City project. I want to see both come together and grow. I can definitely see this being an exhibition project that can take different shapes according to the space it is in since it sharpened certain interests I had concerning urban spaces and structures. One thing I am interested in for my own practice it is a fluidity in the projects I do. Creating an archive that you can nurture from and reassess over time in accordance with new spaces and influences.

What advice would you give to someone applying for the PhMuseum Photography Grant?

This is definitely a very difficult question to answer because it depends so much on the projects and identities of the people applying. I think the one thing that stood out for me in the time of applying - and I think that could be applied in more general terms - is that you should go for a project that feels and sits right with you at the moment of applying. Gut feelings are important. 

Artist in residence Johann Husser presents his research in Landskrona © Landskrona Foto
Detailed view of the installation produced by Johann Husser during the stay in Landskrona © Landskrona Foto

What have you gained from this experience and remember the most? 

I will remember the most the people I have met which I am very grateful for and the talks and trips I shared with them. Another thing is the certainty that I can work, or function artistically in a different environment than I am used to, which was an experience I was very curious about. 

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About Landskrona Foto Residency selection process: Jenny Nordquist (Landskrona Foto Directo) will review all the applications of the PhMuseum Photography Grant. evaluating highly all the proposals that can be mindful of the community while offering a new perspective on Landskrona. She will be open to any type of working methods the photographer decides to use. If you like the idea to challenge your practice in a new place and create new connections this opportunity is adding another reason for you to participate in the new edition of PhMuseum Photography Grant The successful candidate will commit to producing a unique body of work within the residency period, we encourage all interested applicants to add a paragraph to their submission where they can briefly outline a project that relates to Landskrona.

Johann Husser (1990) is an artist and photographer currently living in Berlin. He was born in Kemerovo, Siberia and grew up in Germany after his family immigrated to Germany in late 1993. Initially studying Spatial Planning, he switched to Photography and received his BA in Photography from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund. In 2022 he received his Post-Graduate Diploma in Media Arts at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. His photographic and artistic practice revolves around different aspects and representations of space; may it be architectural, associative and/or image space. His work and practice are influenced by research and experiences on associative and family memories, theories on visual perception and psychogeographical notions of the built surrounding

Jenny Nordquist is Director for Landskrona Foto, Sweden. She has a background in fine art photography, education and curation. From 2016-2018 she was the Artistic Director for Landskrona Foto Festival. She has previously been head of photography at Östra Grevie College in Sweden and from 2011-2018 she was director of a project space for photography in Copenhagen.

Landskrona Foto is the collective name for a centre for the photographic image that spans areas such as exhibitions, events, photo history, photo books, residency, research, and collections. The most important element, the one they call ‘The highlight of Photography’ is their festival where the love of photography, dedication, and commitment to Landskrona as the meeting place of photography reaches its crescendo.

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The PhMuseum Photography Grant has established itself as a leading prize in the industry over the past ten years, renowned for celebrating the importance of contemporary photography and supporting the careers of emerging artists through monetary prizes and various opportunities across international festivals and online media. You are welcome to present your work before 16 February 2023 at 11.59 pm (GMT). Learn more and apply at phmuseum.com/g23.

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