Stockholm’s Fotografiska — Out of the Way But Worth a Visit

I tend to avoid galleries. Not because I don’t like art or photography. It’s because I like to pause and reflect. I like to think and analyze. I like to sit and stare at the work and try to put myself into the world of the artist.

But it’s really hard to do this when you are surrounded by hundreds of people who are pushing and shoving and saying things like “are you going to move along” and talking and texting loudly about their perception of the work. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed myself in a gallery and I tried to relax and ignore everyone at the Fotografiska but most of my memories of the visit revolve around extreme rudeness.

That said, some works did stand out… Pieter Hugo’s work… not exactly my style. I watch people battle lions and get their heart and lungs ripped out daily in the corporate world and try to avoid being reminded of that in my personal time. There’s already so much drama in the world and because of the noise, we tend to lose everything else. Drama is like a diet that has too much salt, take the salt away and everything seems to taste bland… but it isn’t bland, the salt has simply destroyed your ability to taste what is already there.

So, instead, I enjoyed the work of Inta Ruka who spent years earning the trust of people in a small village so they would allow her to photograph them. This is a part of the world that only a few people get to see and only through time and patience is Inta able to share that with us. The subtle sadness had more of an impact on me than any of the extreme works around the gallery.

Logistically, the museum is a bit out of the way but certainly within an hour walking distance of Gamla stan. There is a cafe on site that has gluten and dairy-free options (and not bad options either). There is also so great view of Stockholm outside the museum. Simply go out the entrance, cross the street and climb up a large set of stairs. From here you can see most of the islands. As an added bonus, someone has taken the time to cut out a hole in the fencing so photographers can take photos of the photography museum.

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