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Eva Klasson: En analys av verk, karriär och reception
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Swedish photographer and artist Eva Klasson, based in Paris in the 1970s, gained attention for her series of black-and-white photography of her own naked body, which opened up for an international artistic career in the late 1970s. Despite a promising career she however abandoned photography and disappeared from the artistic sphere only a few years after her debut. There has been a renewed interest in Klasson’s work in Sweden the last decade where she has been exhibited at museums and galleries. Today she is represented at art museums and institutions including Moderna Museet, The Modern Museum of Art, in Stockholm. She is now presented as a pioneer and a forerunner to the later generation of Swedish women artists working with photo based art and staged photography in the 1990s.

This historiographical study revisits Klasson’s work, career and reception in order to examine the prevalent understanding of the artist and her work. There is limited previous research on Klasson. This empirical study is therefore based on Klasson’s works that I have examined first hand at Moderna Museet and Borås konstmuseum. By tracing Klasson’s career and examining the contemporary reception in France and in Sweden one can see that Klasson not only enjoyed wider attention in France than in Sweden but also that she was received and understood differently in the two countries. Today’s prevalent reading of Klasson is to a large extent based on the contemporary reception, which disregards important aspects of her work. By discussing Klasson’s body of work in relation to photography of similar subject matter and aesthetics it become clear that one cannot only discuss her work in terms of photography. It is evident that Klasson’s work comprises of subtle elements that have largely been ignored so far. The prevalent understanding of Klasson also shows to be based on a narrow selection of her work.

I argue that Klasson’s working method and artistic expression is formulaic. This becomes evident in the examination of her artist book, Le troisième angle (1976), which set off her artistic career. The artist’s book also forms a background against which this artistic project originally had been formulated and brings new light to Klasson and her work. Her two following series, Ombilic (1977) and Parasites (1978), are modeled on the artist’s book. Therefore these three series, following the same strategy, must be regarded in relation to one another. Furthermore I argue that one needs to pay attention to all parts of her artistic production that together comprise the works. In doing so, this essay, with its historiographical scope, suggests and opens up to new and alternative readings of Klasson’s work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
Eva Klasson, Le troisième angle, photography, historiography, historiography of photography, artists’ books, the artist’s body in art
National Category
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-24370OAI: diva2:738546
Subject / course
Art History
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2014-08-19 Created: 2014-08-18 Last updated: 2014-08-20Bibliographically approved

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