The Informal Monument for Willner-Olsson

The Informal Monument is a compilation of material from photographer-duo Willner-Olsson’s long-standing project on heaps. Heaps are an ever-present phenomenon in the history of humankind—burial mounds, trash piles, heaps of leaves, snow, fertilizer. Often a humble, peripheral aspect in both rural and urban landscapes, it is a bearer of stories at the intersection of nature and culture.

Each of the 81 selected photographs from Willner-Olsson’s documentation of heaps has its own dedicated spread, encouraging individual contemplation. The Informal Monument further encompasses the duo’s investigative work, relating both to the inherent connotations of the heap, represented in the book in the form of an associative article system, and to its physical characteristics, studied through experimental sessions conducted outdoors and in the studio environment. The book includes the introductory essay “Of a Port in Air” by writer and critic Brian Dillon.

The duo Willner-Olsson consists of the photographers Johan Willner and Peo Olsson. They have been working together on projects around landscape and the changes within it since 2015. Both attended the International Center of Photography in New York in the mid-1990s and subsequently graduated with an MFA, Olsson from the School of Photography at the University of Gothenburg and Willner from Konstfack—University of Arts, Crafts and Design.

Brian Dillon is an Irish writer and critic based in London. His books include Affinities, Suppose a Sentence, Essayism, and In the Dark Room. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Bookforum, frieze, and Artforum. He is also the UK editor of Cabinet Magazine.

Praun & Guermouche [019]

Text: Brian Dillon

Concept and design: Sandra Praun & Oscar Guermouche

Printing and binding: Rotolito S.p.A. / Nava Press S.r.l., Milan

2023

ISBN 978-91-987844-1-1

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Books