February 3 - April 9, 2022
Ever since she first appeared on the art scene, Maria Friberg (1966, Sweden) has used existing images which she then orchestrates. They have a great impact and a formidable beauty, concealing a gaze that questions the fate of our world. This twofold mechanism makes her one of the major figures of contemporary art in Scandinavian countries.
In this, her second monographic exhibition at LMNO, the artist invites us to discover two new series of photographs.
Handed, like so much else in her work, evokes nature and the landscapes of her native country. This series invites us to remember strolls by some ponds, or in museums, experiencing the landscapes of Monet or those of the Pre-Raphaelites. But it isn’t John Everett Millais’s Ophelia who is floating here, humming to herself before her life tragically comes to an end. Suitcases, bags, clothes here punctuate the stagnant water with their presence. We are not just made to contemplate a contemporary version of the water lilies, but rather a questioning of the break-ups punctuating our lives. From those which cause the suitcases of a single family to distance themselves from one another, to those which more tragically cause them to gape open, dispersing and displaying, for all to see, what they were meant to protect. From break-ups to forced exile, at the risk of one’s life.
Navigate is a series which started as a commission from the city of Gävle, situated 200 km north of Stockholm. A port city, it derived its wealth from goods imported from all over the world. An important immigrant community settled there over the years, creating a genuine cultural diversity, dear to Gävle. In order to celebrate this human richness, the artist developed a project, implanted since early 2021 in the wide bay windows of the city’s main educational institution. To produce those photographs she first collected carpets from all sorts of origins, carrying the histories of all and sundry, testifying to their tastes, leanings or cults, or to the wish to make a place more friendly. The carpets were then cut up and reorganised to create cartographies based on the city itself and its region. This brings together the local and the distant, in a harmony which seems to echo the beauty of multiculturalism.
The pieces of carpet stuck together are so many parcels of land in which nature expresses itself with diversity. A diversity which can also be found in the very place where the work is shown: a school which sees young shoots, coming from disparate horizons, grow huddled between its walls.
This series will be extended in the form of a specific commission which will be unveiled to you at an exceptional week-end in the Fa woods (11-12 June 2022), where art and environment will enter into a dialogue, which LMNO has been developing for more than 5 years.
Maria Friberg’s work has been shown in numerous institutions all over the world. Some of them have acquired her works, and Maria has entered the collections of a. o. the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Washington’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts or Stockholm’s Moderna Museet.