Christer Strömholm: Poste Restante (Art And Theory Publishing, 2016)

Poste Restante was the first photobook by legendary Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm. Published in 1967 by Norstedts, the book included 96 images and a series of text fragments and anecdotes based on an interview with the photographer.

An English version of this book was published by Art And Theory Publishing and a French version by The Eyes Publishing 2016.

“Published in 1967, in its design and construction Poste restante foreshadows a number of contemporary photography publications. Autobiographic in nature, the book is composed like an existentialist diary and offers snippets of Christer Strömholm’s great world voyages.

Juxtaposing, in a depraved world, the agreeable and the macabre, and combining portraits and street scenes with abstract photographic fragments, the book makes use of visual metaphors and word-play. While Strömholm explores the dark side of places and people, he sides with the marginalized and the lonely, and offers a profoundly tolerant vision of humanity.


At no point does the text help situate the images geographically, either through captions or elsewhere in the discussion, as the title indicates, of what came “before photography.” We can only guess we are looking at Paris, Calcutta, or Tokyo, and assume the order is chronological; Strömholm offers no clues. The reader has no choice but to follow the poetic stream of thought while considering the themes recurring in the artist’s work, such as the black and white images of death, daily life, the private sphere, and friendship. The first image in the book, the nearly human hand of a gorilla grasping the bars of his cage , directly engages the readers, propelling them into the narrative that follows.”

Irène Attinger (


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