Johan Rosenmunthe

“There are so many ways of interpreting the world around us…Information is spread very easily on the internet and elsewhere, and it seems like the information we get is the same everywhere, that there are only a few basic truths.  But I think it’s super-important to think of the world through different discourses and see natural phenomena in other ways, and I’m very interested in these old ways of trying to explain how the world works.” Johan Rosenmunthe (Smyth, 2014)

When my tutor suggested that I look Johan Rosenmunthe’s Tectonic project, I realised that I had actually seen it before.  It was published in the British Journal of Photography a couple of years ago.  I remember reading the article at the time, and feeling a little bit lost (despite my geological background), and if I’m honest, I still feel a little confused by the work today.  Although perhaps, this is being I’m used to geology being fact-based and straightforward, which is certainly not the way in which Rosenmunthe uses it.

Rosenmunthe’s photographs are beautiful but ambiguous, and it appears that the same can also be said, for his book Tectonic.  In his book, Rosenmunthe runs the photographs alongside an old alchemical text (A suggestive inquiry into the hermetic mystery and alchemy) by Many Anne Atwood, published in 1850 (Smythe, 2014).  In doing this, I believe that it is Rosenmunthe’s intent to address the idea that human knowledge is constantly changing.  Whatever his message though, I simply loved looking at his strange, geological photographs.


Smyth, D. (2014) Tectonic shifts. In: British Journal of Photography, 161(7829), pp. 50-60.