The Last Image at Eggers.
Situation + photography
Produced in 2014 as my MFA graduation project.
The Last Image at Eggers is a site-responsive project that derived from Hôtel Eggers’ historic connection to Swedish emigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I solicited participation from people interested in having their portraits taken at one of Eggers’ suites, whilst they thought about their last image – the image they’d hold on to before fleeing Sweden. During 29-31 March 55 individual photo sessions took place at hotel suite nr. 133.
The sessions began with informal conversations during which the participants responded to questions about who they were, what home would mean for them, and to then mentally picture and describe his/her last image. For this project I collaborated with Masoud Vatankhah, Azada Najafi and Yara Ibrahim. Based on the same question, ‘what would your final image to be before you’d flee from your home [land]?’, they donated three landscape images to be used as backdrops for the photo sessions.
Masoud donated a photo from the city of Khoy in northwestern Iran to be used on the first day, representing his last stop before he and ten others, including his younger brother, fled on foot across the border into the Turkish part of Kurdistan. For the second day, Azada donated an image of her village in Jaghooris, Afghanistan. Yara, representing her hometown of Homs, Syria, donated the image for the last day of photo sessions at Eggers.
I’d like to thank initially to all the staff of Hôtel Eggers for being generously receptive and supportive during the project. Secondly, to all my fellow friends and colleagues, helping me build and re-build my views on artistic and collaborative practice; to Jason E. Bowman, Esther Shalev-Gerz and Bryndis Snæbjörnsdottír for contributing with critique, perseverance and encouragement when needed, but also, avoided. Big thanks also to Masoud, Azada, Yara and Xing Xing, for their trust and generosity, and also all the courageous participants in the photo sessions. Finally, I’d like to thank my dear wife and family for all the endless patience and assistance during the entirety of this project.
Some of the 55 portraits produced during the sessions at Hôtel Eggers will be soon exhibited here.