ELF DALIA by Maja Daniels
MACK Books, 2019, First edition, 136 pp., 8 1/2" X 11 1/2" Softcover with flaps
“If you follow the river north from Mora, you will reach a community with a dark, insular spirit”. Embedded in this historical enigma of a place and its people, Elf Dalia by Maja Daniels weaves together a narrative born out of the Swedish valley of Älvdalen. Daniels combines photographs taken from 2011 to 2017 with curious pictures from an archive amassed by a man named Tenn Lars Persson (1878 –1938), a local inventor, mechanic and photographer. These two artists come together across centuries to create a coherent narrative; in doing so, Elf Dalia naturally draws attention to possible fictions of documentary photography. Layered with the relics of this remote region, which to this day speaks the near-extinct ancient language of Elfdalian, this book explores how the myth and ritual of its past is compromised by contemporary living.