A beach by Klara Källström and Thobias Fäldt – The ghosts of the past.

As far as I remember in my childhood, Jaffa meant orange juice. I remember the stickers on the fruits that we collected in a sketchbook, returning us the image of a paradise where we can pick the rich sunny fruits.

Beach is a beautiful handmade book in an edition of 300. Hardcover leporello with 21 color photographs and two hidden prints on a folded tracing paper (by hidden, I mean in the structure of the book).


The book is about the memory of a location as a palimpsest of History. This location is Jaffa, actually known as Tel Aviv in Israel. Klara and Thobias tell us the story of an Swedish/Israelian man, who remember the place where he grew up.

The beach of Jaffa was his former playground, pasing there everyday on his way to school. The book includes some of his memories as a text in which he explains us the innocence of his childhood, not understanding the conflictual situation with the former inhabitants of the place. The story is set in paralell with the complete renovation of the seafront which consists in the demolition of the past buildings and the implantation of new activities like a promenade.


The first face of the leporello is made with photographs of the beach as it appears nowadays. We never see the entire beach, but we discover some excerpts: palm trees, people exercising on the beach or sun bathing, together with waste, or palissades hiding a work in progress, but also some new facilities.

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The second face of the leporello is very intriguing. When Thobias and Klara went to the beach, they were very surprised by the beautiful, like a rainbow, glitter of the stones on the beach. In fact, there was thousands of little pieces of floor tiles, spread all over the area. Those little pieces were what remained from the former buildings which have been destroyed. They became iconic metaphors of the past history of the location, and they carefully shot many of them on the site, each of them questioning us about who were the former inhabitants of the place and what became of them! They are collected like gems glittering like old coats of arms of disapeared tribes. And finally, what I like with this proposal, is that, if you look close enough to something, you can glimpse the past.

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Well, you may understand that the most important with this work is not only a statement about a critical situation. It is more a reflexion about how we live with the ghosts of the past. As with life, nothing can be created from nothing, there is no spontaneous emergence, and everything, whether it is a human being or a place, has to pay a tribute to the past, to ignore the past would jeopardize the future.

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The first hidden insert contains the colophon, with words by Johannes Wahlström, remembering his childhood. The second one, working like an ellipse, reproduces the oldest view known of the beach in Jaffa, by Felix Bonfils, in 1880.

Here below, Klara and Thobias signing the book at Offprint Paris.


More info about the book on the site of B-B-B-Books: http://www.b-b-b-books.com/#

Klara Källström : http://www.klarp.se/

Thobias Fäldt : http://www.thobias.se/

All images copyright Klara Källström, Thobias Fäldt, Johannes Wahlström and Felix Bonfils.


One Comment on “A beach by Klara Källström and Thobias Fäldt – The ghosts of the past.”

  1. […] How can you build a future if you ignore the past ? This could be the pitch for the book. When I met Klara and Thobias at Offprint, it took a little bit more time for them to explain me the purpose of the book. But they really caught me with this beautiful leporello. When photographers work on Memory. One of my favorite topic. Read more here. […]

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