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Exhibition of contemporary Nordic photography opens at Scandinavia House, New York
Pétur Thomsen, Imported Landscape AL3_9a, Kárahnjúkar, Iceland, 2003. Pigment print, 43 1/3 x 55 in. (110 x 140 cm). Courtesy of the artist.
NEW YORK, NY.- Darkness & Light: Contemporary Nordic Photography, an exhibition focusing on a diverse selection of recent photographic works that illuminate the ways in which light—and the lack thereof—informs the practice of contemporary Nordic photographers, opened at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, in New York City, on Saturday, February 22, 2014. The selection of over 30 works by 10 emerging and established photographers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden demonstrates the breadth and strength of Nordic photography today. The exhibition will include work by Thora Dolven Balke, Tonje Bøe Birkeland, JH Engström, Joakim Eskildsen, Ulla Jokisalo, Bára Kristinsdóttir, Tova Mozard, Nelli Palomäki, Katya Sander, and Pétur Thomsen.

The ten artists exhibited—two from each Nordic country—represent several generations, backgrounds, and artistic approaches: Tonje Bøe Birkeland (b. 1985) takes on the role of fictional photographer Luelle Madgalon Lumiére and recreates an imaginary journey to the Orkney Islands. Tova Mozard (b. 1978) stages a psychological drama, starring her mother, grandmother, and herself in conversation with a therapist on the stage of Stockholm’s Royal Dramatic Theatre. Joakim Eskildsen (b. 1971), in a series of works shot in New York, California, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Georgia, examines the growing crisis of American poverty. And Ulla Jokisalo (b. 1955), drawing from fairytales, horror stories, and fantasy, constructs intimate photographs that investigate identity and the instability of existence.

These ten photographers each respond to, manipulate, and experiment with light and darkness to various ends. Curator Anna Tellgren, Moderna Museet, Sweden explains: “Living in the Nordic region, in the northernmost part of Europe, means having to relate to darkness and light—both measurable and perceived. This is something all Nordic photographers are experienced in, and contend with, in one way or another.”

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