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The widow Jenny Edström in Hökmark, Lövånger, 1962

From a Distance

Time is an exceptionally central concept in photography. Perhaps Sune Jonsson quite simply thought more about this than many other photographers. He thought it was a wondrous thing, time. Short times, like the barely discernible 1/125th of a second that the camera shutter is open. But also long times, measured in days, years and lives. A photograph is sometimes described as a frozen moment, a short instant where time has stopped, that the photographer has captured something fleeting. In Sune Jonsson’s images, it can instead sometimes seem that it is not time that has stopped but that what is taking place and going on has as it were paused briefly in front of his camera. As if he has been standing waiting for a while, not hurrying, biding his time. Time can be described in terms of distance, and just as characteristic as still life is in Sune Jonsson’s images is the spatial distance to them that he depicts. He does not intrude, he does not expose people in intimate detail. Perhaps we might say that he maintains a respectful distance in his photography.

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Alexandra A. Ellis

Curator, documentary photography
+4690 20 20 338

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