Hello people of the Universe !
After a good night sleep at the youth hostel, we woke up at 8 am to visit Södermalm. It wasn’t too cold outside and we took our time to stroll, especially in Hornsgatan, one of the main streets. Look, these buildings are so charming and colorful, and they create a gradation!
At some point, we arrived next to the water, on a kind of balcony where we were able to admire the other side of the city.
We decided then to go to the Fotografiska, a museum of photography. On the road, we passed through one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen — I would like to put every picture I took of it, but it is not possible. You can see a yellow church, which contrary to France is very joyful and pleasant. The architecture is different and I really like its bright colors. Among the autumn leaves, it is even better.
In front of the church, there are these houses that look like fishermen houses to me. I do am in love with colors in Sweden and I am glad to have been there in autumn so that nature and city match perfectly.
We arrived at the Fotografiska and had the good surprise to find an exhibition of Martin Schoeller that was just amazing. He took pictures of celebrities like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, George Clooney and so on and so forth, and if you got close to the portrait you were able to count pores and hairs. I don’t have a picture of him because people were staying in front of its portrait, but it was powerful and wonderful to see Robin Williams again, smiling and funny.
What is a photographic portrait? There is a simple answer to this simple question: it is a picture of a person, mostly of that person’s face, made with a camera. But take a look at Martin Schoeller’s most comprehensive exhibition ever and you know that actually is not that simple. On the contrary.
Portraiture stands in a long tradition of picture making that harks back to the renaissance and even earlier times. For centuries it functioned as a means of representing someone important or someone with power; in society, in politics, in religion, in the arts. Therefore a portrait is not just a picture, it also has symbolical meaning, and we attach our emotions to it. It shows how someone looks, but it also somehow makes this person present before our eyes, as if he or she is really there. Think of how we treat portraits of our beloved ones in our wallets, in a small frame beside our beds or as screensavers on our smartphones. We caress these pictures, because we caress the people they represent. Portraits are powerful images.
In our days, portraits are everywhere. We live in the age of the portrait. With the advent of the selfie, the number of portraits made each day is unprecedented in history. One wonders what that means in relation to our contemporary culture. Pop stars, film stars, sports(wo)men, celebrities, politicians and TV personalities stare at us from magazine covers, billboards and advertisements almost all of the time.
So photographic portraits are common. Yet it is not easy to be an outstanding portrait photographer. There are only few in the world. Martin Schoeller belongs to that small group. You will see why.
After that, we succeeded to find the circular library — yay! — and I can tell it is beautiful. Really. Isn’t it impressive? I even found yiddish books!
We were very tired after all of that. Not that we did a lot of things, but we walked during hours, plus as the sun goes down very early your brain wants you to go to bed. We decided to drink a tea in an Espresso House and chat a bit before coming back to the youth hostel. We ate bread as good as French one — yes, it is possible, don’t ask me how they did but they made it — and we went out again at night to take advantage of Gamla Stan.