Born 1980 in Sundsvall, lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden
Erik Berglins practice is devoted to exploring the boundaries of what photography is and can be today.
Each project is made with an esthetic aiming to be as different as possible to the previous. Subject matters also vary but often circulate around questioning the authenticity of photography. He is more interested in how the images are made, rather than what they depict. Having that said Berglins work is always trying to be visually interesting.
Musée de l’Elysée; Statens Konstråd; Hasselblad Center; Gothenburg Museum; Sundsvalls Museum;
Västerås Museum; Iaspis Archive; County Council of Gävleborg, Sweden
County Council of Västra Götaland, Sweden; County Council of Västernorrland, Sweden
County Council of Örbro, Sweden
The Cities of Gothenburg, Sundsvall, Uppsala, Härnösand, Luleå, Borås, and Västerås, Sweden
Volvo Art Collection; Various private collections
The Bird Project 2006-2017
Over a period of twelve years, Stockholm based artist Erik Berglin wheat-pasted 4982 hand cut images of birds in natural scale, in twelve cities around the world. Each bird was placed in a carefully selected location, and subsequently documented by the artist, who works with photography as his primary medium.
For the duration of this project, Berglin sourced ornithology books in antiquarian bookshops and libraries. Their photographs were scanned, edited and reprinted. Berglin spent countless hours with a scalpel and a pair of scissors, tracing the contours of the birds to free them of their paper imprisonment. Each year, Berglin traveled to a new city for his project. From start to end, a total of 4982 birds were wheat-pasted in twelve cities on five continents: Gothenburg, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Casablanca, New York, Reykjavik, Madrid, Malmö, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, London and Stockholm
In a time of animal spread viruses and worldwide mass extinction in the wake of the climate crisis, Berglin’s project can be approached from many angles. What caused these birds to seek refuge in urban environments, so far away from their natural habitat? What feelings does the sighting of a bald eagle in central London evoke? Is it merely a painful reminder of the once rich fauna, which today fights for survival in the steadily decreasing gaps in-between our cities? Or does it bring hope of a potential co-existence, made possible by these curious birds’ ability to adapt to a man-made world? Perhaps, the bird is merely a Poesque metaphor for something else?
The project was inspired by the famous ornithologist John James Audubon’s (1785-1851) magnum opus; the monumental ‘Birds of America’, originally printed and published between 1827-1838. Birds of America contains 435 life-size watercolors of North American birds, all reproduced from hand-engraved plates. In homage to Audubon, Berglin also made a giant-sized version of his book in an edition of 5 + 2AP. Since each page measures 100 x 70 cm, it comes with a custom-made podium.