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They Do Know It's Christmas

© Helge Skodvin

In November 2013 our trusted car broke down. We needed a new car, and right away. I flew to Oslo, met a man, signed some papers, got a key and a car. Then I started on the long 10-hour drive back to Bergen. Outside a grocery store, I noticed an inflatable Santa lying horizontally. I stopped and made some images.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas I made some more images. And the next year. And the year after. For five years I have been photographing Christmas and a certain kind of Yuletide feeling. In shopping malls and car sales room. At offices and industrial estates. At schools and municipal government buildings. I saw a theme that is dominating our visual world for almost two months a year but is very seldom photographed. I saw that the distance between the real and the idealized Christmas is huge. And it is in that gap that this project and photographs have been made.

Some will call these images cynical. I call them realistic. Some will call them ironic. I call them subjective. One thing is sure, they are photographed with love. Because this is also my Christmas. I love Christmas. The traditions. The solemnly feeling. The food. The rain and the eight degrees Celsius outside. I get touched by toilet roll Santas. I cry a tear when singing Christmas songs. Every year.

Fotografi av Helge Skodvin
Tekstar av Frode Grytten
168 sider
Bokbunad av Aslak Gurholt
ISBN 978-82-8288-289-7

Published by: Flamme Forlag

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