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Gerd Aurell / Against Time

2000-03-05 to 2000-05-01

Gerd Aurell (b. 1965) is living in Umeå and has graduated from the Umeå Academy of Fine Arts.

"Against Time is based on the American photographer Walker Evans' photographs. During the 1930's, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) engaged several of the nation's most gifted photographers to document life in the United States. Walker Evans' part of the project consists of 488 photographs taken 1935-1939. The pictures show the daily life of Alabama's share croppers, the devastation following soil erosion in Mississippi and floods in Arkansas, street scenes from New York, architecture and billboards. Taken together the photographs are a chronicle of a country in change.

Regardless of their subject, the photographs show a strong passion. The message of the pictures seems clear: only when people have knowledge of what the world looks like, will they be able to change it. Sixty years later I would like to believe the same thing.

I gave myself a task: to really see the photographs, to imprint them in my mind. I wanted to see them, not as historical documents, but as relevant pictures of our own time. What Walker Evans' shows us of the United States during the 1930's is true today of the world as a whole. Humans still cause environmental catastrophes and now as then many people produce wealth for others while they live in poverty themselves.

As a way of memorizing the photographs, I chose one detail from each, a detail that I perceived as central for the picture as a whole. Against Time consists of these 488 details, enlarged and painted on plywood."