from 21.02.2008 to 12.04.2008
Lonely men are clinging to the branches of large leafless trees. They wear white clothes and no shoes. As if lifeless, they lie still. They seem to rest, contemplate or to be sunk in sleep, almost camouflaging and becoming part of Nature itself.
That's the subject of the extraordinary new series of photos by Maria Friberg. An impressive work which strikes at first sight for the thorough composition of the image and the reference to calligraphy and ink drawings.
She works with strong dichotomies and balances them so that they almost become unimaginable without each other. The opposition between nature and culture in her recent works is enhanced by the stark contrasts between black and white, on the one hand, and between verticality and horizontality on the other.
The title of her latest series, “alongside us”, is a fascinating allusion to aircrafts docking en route to re-fuel. It is like a blood transfusion in mid-air, a beautiful image of dependence and trust but at the same time a dangerous and risky operation, just like relationships between people.
Maria Friberg often focuses on contemporary man. Her male protagonists look lost, disoriented, may be in a position of power, but power itself and the men who embody it are in a state of crisis. So it is in “alongside us”, where the characters are barefoot, a clear sign of vulnerability, but at the same time a wish to get closer to nature.
On show also the seven minute long video “commoncause”. In the classical, historic setting of the National Museum of Stockholm amorphous shapes roll like heads down the marble stairs. With an hypnotic dark sound some of them move quickly, others slowly and some falteringly. None knows where the objects in the video came from and what their goal might be, but it is clear they are part of a a constant flow that can’t be stopped. An intimidation or a relief?
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