On 25 January, photographer Ivar Kvaal will launch his second photo book. This time it is the Hessdalen project, on which he worked during his time with the Norwegian Journal of Photography, that will be published in book form.

Hessdalen Valley became world famous when a number of suspicious light phenomena were observed in the little village. Photographer Ivar Kvaal explored this phenomenon in the Norwegian Journal of Photography, and parts of the project were also printed in the second volume of NJP.

Now his entire project is being published in a 120-page book by Journal Publishing House. Hessdalen demonstrates our human desire to experience something otherworldly. At the same time, he shows the conflict between mystification and evidence in the photograph.

On the cold night of 8 December 1981, change came to the village Kvaal has photographed. The lights in the sky were so strong that they attracted attention outside Hessdalen Valley, and when the press appeared, a new chapter began for the place and the people there. From being a rural village with little of interest to offer, except a church, a community centre and a shop, Hessdalen Valley quickly became a rallying point and a point of reference for a diverse group of people whose only common denominator was looking for something they could not understand.

Mary Durant has written the following about Kvaal’s project:

“Kvaal’s project Hessdalen is a meditation on the human desire to experience the otherworldly while simultaneously playfully implicating photography in its contradictory roles in mystification and evidence.”

In recent years, Kvaal has shown his work at a range of institutions and galleries, including the Aperture Foundation in New York, Musée de l’Elysée in Switzerland and the Devos Art Museum in Michigan in the US.

The book will be launched on Thursday, 25 January, from 6 – 10 p.m. at Studio B20 in Oslo. Read more about the launch on Facebook.