Sz4: Folk Culture
48 pages, edition 200, HP Indigo print
31 x 21 cm
Light barely leaks through gaps in between the walls of horizontally layered lumber. And continue through the room until it hits the floor forming a bright shape. I’m holding a full-frame digital camera with a 24.3MP CMOS chip.
It’s early summer, unusually hot. Few others are around this morning to see the houses that the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History has gathered from around the country and so generously rebuilt here. Most of them can be peeked into and some fully entered such as the one I’m inside now.
The gaps are made just small enough to enable basic indoor activity, at the same time not letting too much precious heat out. This is before the luxury of window glass. The light that cuts into the darkness through the thoughtfully measured opening becomes so bright that contrast presents itself as solid.
Being here is such a treat, I think to myself while having a waffle with sour cream and strawberry jam in the café.
The Open Air Museum portray a typical Norwegian lifestyle quite recent in time, just some 100 years ago, but with life conditions so different they are hard to identify with. And still, there is something timeless in the air. Everything here would be possible to do and make without any tech knowledge.
More people here now, all of them are taking snapshots with handy camera phones. It makes me stand out with the bulky Nikon D600 as if I’m trying to make a point. One nice thing about this dinosaur in particular is the easiness of making triple exposures!
The triple exposure is less known than the double as seen in the previous Sverre zines. They’re both simple ways to break free from the given documentary quality of photography. And to bring the attention from subject to shape. Three times less light is required and makes it possible to photograph inside the dark houses without tripod. Tourists without tripod will get muddy results. This might upset the tourist - or liberate her.
Getting started, the pointing finger touches the shutter button cautiously, then more and more, and after a while material is being delivered to the SanDisk 8GB SSD card with great confidence. I go in and out of the small houses, occasionally bumping my head into the low doorframes, excited.
The staged landscape and the traditionally dressed actors all float in a three-repetitional space, with just some exceptions.
I meet a local farmer plucking a chicken. My flow is interrupted by the sight of a naked bird, which I am attracted to. It just seems out of place to introduce a triple-based approach to photo when he is doing this real work. I pretend to be a foreign tourist.
My dog was a lazy golden retriever that passed away 25 years ago. She would always lie on the floor where the sun made light shapes so that the shapes would fixate in her golden fur in stead. She was very dear to me and I was immensely sad when she passed away. But when I think of her now it doesn’t make me that sad anymore.