Maria Friberg

16 november > 21 december 2013

A prominent quality of staged photography as a genre is that is often aesthetically pleasing. The beauty attracts our gaze and then reveals stories that are both subversive and ambiguous. The interplay between the beauty and the uncanny element of the image titillates our visual curiosity. A look at ’s work since the late 1990s until today shows that she is fully a master of this genre.

In her work Maria Friberg throws light on human life in relation to a larger situation, in which the powers of nature and culture are hard to bridle. In her latest pieces she gives artistic shape to these issues from a child’s perspective. The work Belonging (2010) shows a boy sitting on a mountain of brightly coloured toys. It is a portrait of the artist’s son and the enormous quantities of objects that he has already amassed at his young age. Reminiscent of the spirit of the American conceptual artist Barbara Kruger’s iconic work I shop therefore I am from 1987, Belonging gives an effective testimony of contemporary consumer society.

It is also by way of a child that Friberg presents the influence of technology on our lives in the series Duration (2012). On the floor in the gloomy and desolate room we see the silhouette of a figure sitting by himself in front of a laptop computer. In the background there are large windows and outside is a verdant summer landscape. The almost religious quality of the room seems to suggest that the moment in front of the computer has become a sacred part in our lives. The child in the picture seems to be in a hypnotic state and the sense of isolation and loneliness is apparent.

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