Iris and Mattias Alexandrov Klum work as an artist duo based in both Sweden and Spain. Since 2016, their work has examined contemporary social issues with a focus on nature and the complexity of human relationship with their surroundings. Alexandrov Klum works with large-scale installations of photography, film and sound, creating a multimedia experience that lies at the intersection between conceptual art and documentary storytelling. Alexandrov Klum has produced a number of public works and entered into collaborations with and on behalf of government institutions, organisations, NGO’s, municipalities, foundations and companies.
When Iris and Mattias embarked on their journey as the artist duo Alexandrov Klum, it was an intertwined effort of techniques, concepts and new possibilities of storytelling with the intention to speak to a large audience in larger formats with technical perfection. The projects and workflow changed overnight when they realised that their common art projects needed a mix of extraordinary performance and flexible durability – A workflow that could work from film to large-scale prints in pixel depth.
– When we tested GFX 100S and a range of the GF-lenses we realised that we could create unique art in a way we had never been able to do before. The technical perfection together with the poetic tone of the medium format cameras is developing our mission – creating art about the relationship between human and nature.FUJIFILM GFX is the perfect match for us.
Iris Alexandrov Klum is a conceptual photographer that works with big installations, film and photography. She is using storytelling in a visual way where she intertwines mythology, modern science and philosophy. The art that Iris is creating is often made from places where scent, sound and light is used to put the audience within the art piece itself. Her images and art installations often depict a glimpse or a brief moment from a passage of an event, leaving the viewer in a certain mood. Her work method is around deriving from science, philosophy and popular culture that creates as well new stories as experiences both within real and fictive worlds.
Mattias Alexandrov Klum is internationally recognized for describing and portraying animals and nature, plants, and natural and cultural settings in the form of articles, books, films, lectures and exhibitions. His artistic photographic language has rendered him success not only in the world of documentaries but also in the art scene. In 1997, National Geographic Magazine published Mattias Klum’s photographs for the first time. That story made him the first Swede to have his work on the cover and one of National Geographic’s youngest contributors at the time. Since 1997, he has produced multiple articles and nine cover stories for the reputable magazine.
Working wildlife with a medium format camera could potentially be a challenge, a challenge Alexandrov Klum were excited to take on, in their mindful way of working close to nature and with nature. The GFX100 II was a natural choice to pair the slow waiting with the absolute presence when working in Selous, Tanzania.
It’s a typical day in Nyerere National Park. The cycles of the day move as if humans aren’t there at all, with the exception for the small dirt roads in the landscapes, used to transport the duo from one place to the other. Wild life photography has similarities with hunting although the intention is completely different. As a wildlife photographer the aim is to capture the species and ambience which constructs the landscape. More so, as a wildlife photographer working with ecology with an art background the story gets multilayered. What do we see beyond that we are depicting? What are we feeling? How is another image of a wild animal telling the story that needs to be told today in times of environmental crises and the collapse of biodiversity?
These different mindsets aren’t easy to tackle in any kind of environment.
The duo chose to work on a more mindful approach to capturing wildlife, something science points to is essential at these times. To become aware is to feel, to see, and to understand what we have in front of us.
We have come to a point in time where we humans are putting unprecedented pressure on our natural planetary systems. In fact, we are in the middle of the sixth mass extinction of species and destabilisation of ecosystems on Earth. One reason of the great rupture is the one between human and nature; the very idea of hierarchy and power. What happens, if we change our position of knowledge and power, into a more dreamlike gaze, where answers are found in the presence of a slowed-down pace? We’re embarking on a search for an essence in an unforced paradisiacal state of mind. A journey where we treasure life in all forms and try to understand our own role in the midst of a changing world.
By making art that is a mix of a divine reality and amazing dreamlike surrealism we take the viewer deeper in to the world of nature than we’ve ever done before. With a poetic language that explains
the planetary boundary process and clearly anchors the fact that everything is interconnected, we bring the viewer into the story narrative itself. Through our immersive worlds we want to show that our mindsets affect change, positive or negative, on our fragile planet. Human and nature are truly interconnected. It is time to choose the world we want.
“Dream Voyage is a project about highlighting the in-betweens, the emotional lines that runs between nature and human, human to human, and nature itself. We want find a new gaze where we try to look at, and depict, the natural world beyond the hierarchic positions and generalisations that has been the norm for hundreds of years in our western societies. Where the different species are depicted both in vulnerable and peculiar ways. By drawing out a dreamy emotional map focusing on beauty, equality and diversity, we hope it will raise awareness and focus on both environmental values and threats, as well as the breaking of boundaries between people and nature. It’s time to comprehend that we are one- and that our thoughts, structures and actions affect all life on the planet.”