JH Engström: Härbärge [Shelter]. Bokförlaget Denmark, 1997. First edition, first printing. Hardbound in photo-illustrated dust jacket. 54 black-and-white reproductions + 9 pp. text. Housed in custom-made cloth slipcase.
Engström's scarce first book--crazy rare signed!! Made in a shelter for homeless women, these black-and-white images were shot on Polaroid film. In a 2011 interview, Engström relates that, "It was quite a process to make this book. At first I thought wanted to make a more traditional stuff in the documentary style. But, As I advanced in this work, I thought I could not go on and on with 135, Tri-X. I realized that all the pictures I did were pictures that I had seen before. These were pictures that looked more like pictures than anything else!"
He goes on to say, "At first, I only knew that I wanted to assert a point of view on this relatively new in Sweden: the homeless. Now it has become quite common. But we, or at least we had a very strong social protection. And when I made this book, it began to change. And it made me angry. It was perhaps a bit naive but it was a reaction, an outrage. Another reason to make these images was a completely selfish curiosity. The situation where these women was fairly basic, existential. This caused me a lot of questions: what is a home? What does it mean to feel at home? Many questions of this kind. But what I wanted above all was to express the strong presence of the other"