Human Behavior: An Exploration of People Watching

Inka Lindergård and Niclas Holmström
Inka Lindergård and Niclas Holmström
Watching Humans Watching XVII, 2008

The scope of humankind’s relationship with nature is the subject of a new exhibition by photographers Inka Lindergård and Niclas Holmström, on display from Nov. 5 to Dec. 17 at the Swedish Photography Gallery in Berlin. The exhibition is comprised of two series that share the same concept of human observation.

For the first series, Watching Humans Watching, the Stockholm-based duo spent the last four years capturing the dynamic between humans and nature by taking an objective approach to their subjects, much like the way landscape photographers document wild animals. Lindergård and Holmström had no interaction with the people they photographed. Each picture explores man’s disconnected relationship with nature, as if there were a wall between them and the environment. The images show people standing back, distant from the land, with some viewing nature through binoculars.

The other series, SAGA, which was developed shortly after Watching Humans Watching, deviates from pure observation and explores the natural world as mythic, foreign place from a first-person perspective. Each picture captures the artists’ imagination of nature as make-believe wilderness, which they say was stirred by stories of the supernatural wild. “[The photographs] can be seen as small building stones: sets, scenes, props and characters from an unwritten story,” say Lindergård and Holmström. “A mood board for anyone creating a fairytale.”

Together, the projects seek to present a full exploration of the relationship between people and nature. While Watching Humans Watching aims to show the physical act of human observation, SAGA offers the artists’ perspective on what is it that humans actually see and imagine when they watch nature.

Watching Humans Watching and SAGA will also be published together in a book by Kehrer Verlag later this year.

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