Taking his longing for his childhood home and literally placing it in a jar, Christoffer Relander‘s Jarred & Displaced series uses double exposure photography to bottle up the landscape of southern Finland. Always fascinated by the idea of collecting things, Relander had been using multiple exposures in his photography for about 5 years when the idea for the project came to him in 2014. Nostalgia for his homeland—spurred by the impending birth of his daughter—was his initial motivation. “I got the idea for Jarred & Displaced around the time I knew I would become a father two years ago. During this period I became nostalgic, sometimes anxious, about the fact I’m so far away from my own childhood,” Relander shares. “Today I get to relive some of it through my daughter.”
The series is carried out analogously, using medium format film that he scans and develops himself. A key tenet of the work is that no digital manipulation is involved. “With analog multiple exposures I’m able to manipulate my photographs in-camera,” Relander says. “This project was not created or manipulated in an external software such as Photoshop.” In fact, the lack of digital post-production is evident in images where the landscape bleeds onto the lids of the jars. The result are images that exude a quiet stillness. The Finish countryside remains frozen, immortalized in the jars—there for Relander to visit as he pleases.
In this way, the jars become time capsules—sanctuaries where the photographer's childhood memories have a home. The tightly screwed lids of the jars hold his memories in, allowing him to revisit this most precious collection in times of anxiety. Thus, the series also becomes about the effects of displacement and the emotions one feels when settled away from their native land.
Scroll down for a beautifully shot short film by Anders Lönnfeld that takes us inside Relander's process.
All images via Christoffer Relander.