MARIA FRIBERG

(Sweden, 1966)  

One of the most relevant photographers of the current scene, born in Malmö (Sweden) in 1966, lives and works in Stockholm. The artist explains about her work that is developed “about themes of power, masculinity and man’s relationship to nature […] My most recent pieces look both outwards, to the challenges in contemporary society, and inwards, to a meditative state of mind. In these photographs and videos, the isolation and solitude of the individuals reflect issues in society at large.” 

Her participation in Confinement Archive is a very special contribution, not only because the discourse of all her work reaches a greater potential today, but also because unfortunately the artist has suffered from the illness caused by covid-19. Her Painting Series is produced in 2011, however, the artist gives it a much broader meaning as a result of the confinement: in this work we see human figures immersed in a maelstrom of uncertainty and dragged by a force they cannot control. With clear pictorial allusions to Yves Klein and Jackson Pollock’s gestures, the artist offers us real images that have not been digitally retouched, a reality as pure as she also shows us in the words she shares with us in relation to her confinement. From now on, her inquiry into isolation and solitude becomes much more profound: when we observe the Painting Series in the Archive, we as viewers must do so from a new perspective.

Painting series

Maria Friberg examines the themes of the information age’s moral dilemma: how much is too much technology? And how can we continue our ruthless exploitation of earth resources.

The digital revolution equips us with the ability to communicate over vast distances, cheaply and instantly. But we have not yet understood the extent of where this technological development will bring us. At the same time we exploit the earth’s resources, and we surround ourselves with a variety of items that become heaps of everyday materials such as plastic toys, wires or debris.

“Maria Friberg’s color photographs and videos are vivid and lush, yet they are also unsettling and coolly provocative. Reversing centuries of what has often been called a “male gaze,” Friberg’s female gaze often captures smartly attired men in unexpectedly solemn, vulnerable and also sensual contexts, for instance a man in a white suit and black trousers lying atop a pile of crumpled automobiles, a perfect symbol for upended power, from Still Lives, 2003-2007, or somber people partially enveloped by abundant foliage in a botanical garden (Days of Eyes, 2014). Nature figures prominently in Friberg’s art and it seems both sublime and ominous. Friberg’s photographs are also exceptionally painterly, including her remarkable, protean, vibrantly colored The Painting Series, 2011, for which she photographed, from below, people sprawling on a glass pane covered with ink and water.

While subverting codes of masculine authority, Friberg’s exquisitely composed and staged works function as enthralling visual forces that conflate wonderment and bewilderment, grace and ungainliness, reverence and fear.”

Gregory Volk, Art Critic/Freelance Curator, Brooklyn, NY

Artist's testimony

I have been home and ill with covid 19 now for 6 weeks, it has been ups and down with many feelings. The Pandemi is scarry since much is unknown and make you think a lot more and appreciate what is good in your life and in the world. That you need to choose more what you do what you eat and how you travel and what you buy. 

How much we human beens need each other and need to act on all levels to save our lives, animals lives and Nature.

Nature is bleeding and affect us all.