Henrik Andersson’s photomontage Ockulärbesiktning (visual inspection) deals with the Bohuslän region’s plethora of Bronze Age petroglyphs and how these have been interpreted and reinterpreted throughout history. With the archives of the Tanum Rock Carving Museum and his own fieldwork as the point of departure, Andersson gives form to the shifting interpretations of the petroglyphs — from the Bohuslän priests of the 1850s and the idea of the Swedish nation state to the German pseudo-researchers of the 1930s and our own time’s academic archeology. Because the carvings come from a time before written history, they are hard to interpret. Archetypes such as boats and animals are recognizable, but their meaning within their original context is unclear. The stories hidden within the carvings mean that each attempt to interpret them is highly coloured by its own time and thereby reveals something about itself. Today the prevailing opinion is that the petroglyphs are related to long-distance trade.
Henrik Andersson (b.1973 in Gothenburg, Sweden) lives and works in Stockholm. Andersson is an artist, curator, writer and associate professor at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. Andersson has a document and archival practice using a montage method with an interest in historical narratives and psychosocial imagery.Andersson has contributed to Tirana Biennale (2005), Luleå Biennial (2018) and the Moderna Exhibition (2018); solo presentations at Index Foundation Stockholm (2003) and Baltic Art Center, Visby (2005).
400 x 300 cm
Courtesy the artist
Image: Henrik Andersson, Ockulärbesiktning, 2017–2019. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler