A Film About/With Anders Petersen

  • Suède
  • 2006
  • sv
  • en
  • 52'

When Swedish photographer JH Engström films his compatriot Anders Petersen (who was also his teacher and whose assistant and friend he became), he's doing much more than making a portrait or a documentary about a photographer. Both are steeped in the same humanity, which informs their photographic approach. It's a desire to render as crudely as possible the "essence" of the human being, with all its chaos and complexity. They photograph a world on the margins which they themselves inhabit; they fit into their images; they expose themselves, literally and figuratively. In so doing, they abolish the distance between themselves, their subjects, and those who view their work.
This film, then, is also a work of sincere research, in which both expose themselves, engage in dialogue, drink together, and treat despair with glee. A "Nordic" aesthetic emerges, a blend of rigour and abandon, distance and absolute vulnerability. Between cold and heat, the lens fogs up, and the reflection on friendship, on the human being, becomes a manifesto for photography that goes "right to the bone", the whole shot through with a poetry that disarms.

A Film About/With Anders Petersen
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Synopsis

When Swedish photographer JH Engström films his compatriot Anders Petersen (who was also his teacher and whose assistant and friend he became), he's doing much more than making a portrait or a documentary about a photographer. Both are steeped in the same humanity, which informs their photographic approach. It's a desire to render as crudely as possible the "essence" of the human being, with all its chaos and complexity. They photograph a world on the margins which they themselves inhabit; they fit into their images; they expose themselves, literally and figuratively. In so doing, they abolish the distance between themselves, their subjects, and those who view their work.
This film, then, is also a work of sincere research, in which both expose themselves, engage in dialogue, drink together, and treat despair with glee. A "Nordic" aesthetic emerges, a blend of rigour and abandon, distance and absolute vulnerability. Between cold and heat, the lens fogs up, and the reflection on friendship, on the human being, becomes a manifesto for photography that goes "right to the bone", the whole shot through with a poetry that disarms.

What you will find in this film

A friendship - A photographer's eye on another photographer - Ander Petersen's quest - A manifesto - A Nordic aesthetic - A raw but poetic work

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Further exploration

Bibliography

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CAFÉ LEHMITZ - Schirmer/Mosel ; 1978
FÄNGELSE - P.A. Norstedt & Söners Förlag ; 1984
KARNEVAL - Journal ; 1991
DU MICH AUCH - Scalo ; 1995
STAD - Braus ; 2002
SOHO - Mack ; 2012
ROME - Walther König ; 2014
COLOR LEHMITZ - Gun Gallery ; 2019