After Exposure. A Cyclopedia of Broken Cameras. Photographs by Nils Bergendal.
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After Exposure.

A Cyclopedia of Broken Cameras.

Photographs by Nils Bergendal.
Self-published, 2021. In English. 200 pp., 8¼x6¼".

Publisher's Description

Many years ago I handed in a broken camera for repair. Behind the counter I saw hundreds of camera wrecks. The camera repairman has now retired, the workshop is closed and the scrap depot from 60 years back has ended up at my house. This book is an archeological survey of these remains. Out of the scrap a fascinating history emerges.

Christer Andersson's career began 7:30 a.m. on July 1, 1957, when he entered Stölten’s camera repair shop in Malmö, Sweden. He was fifteen years old and about to start his work as an apprentice. His teacher was Rudi Birke, a German master of fine mechanics with a background at the Zeiss Ikon factory in Dresden. Mr. Birke had narrowly escaped the descending Iron Curtain, arrived in Sweden in 1948, and set up a repair shop that was to be known as one of the best in the country. Christer learned the profession from the bottom up; he had to make his own fine-mechanical tools. His first job was to disassemble the aperture on a Rolleiflex.

Christer opened his own workshop in 1966. He has been working for over 60 years and innumerable cameras have been repaired and made functional under his supervision. But not every one of them. Cameras beyond rescue have ended up in the workshop's spare parts depot. This is the shop’s true wealth: gears, circuit boards, mirrors, aperture blades—indeed, every conceivable spare part can be found here.

The book describes 62 cameras from the mechanical era until today in text and image and with a comment from the camera repairman himself. The essay is written by critic and author Dan Jönsson, grappling with the existential conundrum of our civilization’s ever more problematic metabolism.

Christer and his wife have taken refuge in a remote and corona safe island in the Baltic Sea. His workshop has been taken over by a mobile phone repairman. On their way to the dump these cameras have made a final detour and overnighted in this book.

– Nils Bergendal

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