New photographs, along with a solitary projected video work. The photographs are part of series entitled almost there, originally exhibited at the Norrkopings Konstmuseum. Friberg began work on this series by visiting the same restaurant everyday during the lunch hours. In this context she was drawn to men in their early thirties who appeared quite powerful. These gentlemen were the new elite of Capital, namely the CEOs of IT and dotcom companies.
Team will present a solo exhibition by Swedish artist Maria Friberg from the 1st through the 24th of
During the past five years, Maria Friberg has had numerous solo exhibitions in Europe - in Vienna, Berlin, Frankfurt, Athens, and in her native Stockholm. She has also participated in a number of highly visible, international group exhibitions in such venues as the Moderna Museet, and the Goteborgs Konsthall. This is the artist's first one-person show in the United States.
The exhibition here at Team is made up primarily of new photographs, along with a solitary projected video work. The photographs are part of series entitled almost there, originally exhibited at the Norrkopings Konstmuseum. Friberg began work on this series by visiting the same restaurant everyday during the lunch hours. In this context she was drawn to men in their early thirties who appeared quite powerful. These gentlemen were the new elite of Capital, namely the CEOs of IT and dotcom companies.
As Friberg became acquainted with her subjects, she set about planning an event to be enacted for the camera. The artist secured an Olympic sized swimming pool and a number of engines which would churn the water, creating bubbling areas of chaos. Friberg's CEOs arrived at the shoot to discover four identical suits made to measure. The men were asked to jump into the water and the artist began photographing them from an extremely high angle -- a bird's eye view, if you will. Friberg's attempt was to capture the men trapped in the very skin of the water's surface -- not below, not above, but in the surface itself.
Part Busby Berkeley, part Karl Marx, Friberg's pool project is pure aggression masked by sumptuous pleasure. The men are all handsome, the water inviting. The photographs have been back-mounted to glass which emphasizes the crisp, sharp, seductive color. The men appear to react to the situation with great aplomb and glee, with any doubts seeming to reside in our spectatorship. The multiplicity of readings that reside in these images, however, is a clear indicator that their lustrous sheen hides a dark complexity.
photo: Maria Friberg, still image from somewhere else, 1998, DVD projection
Friberg's central concern has been that of the male image and its relationship to the costume of power. Friberg has never placed a female subject before her cameras. Friberg's work, as it sounds to be, for example, is made up of two portraits of men with their eyes closed and their mouths open. A crystalline image of male vulnerability. In a perceptive essay on the almost there series, Lars Strannegard reminds us that "men in suits have always been the standard bearers of modernism," and in somewhere else, we view five suited men from beneath a table. In this three-minute DVD loop, the men begin to exert pressure on each other, spreading their legs more and more forcefully as the piece progresses. The viewer is left to decide if the men are marking territory or making sexual advances.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm. For further information and/or photographs, please call the gallery at 212.279.9219.
We would like to thank Galleri Charlotte Lund, Stockholm and Mezzanin, Vienna, for their help in the organization of this exhibition.