Bodil Frendberg Statement

Artist Statement
“In the beginning there was the prop. A fan. A top hat. A sunflower. The pent-up horn of a gramophone player, baritone strains begging to be audible again. Discarded objects, stubbornly guarding the memory of those who once held them dear. Forms frozen in time, holding out for something beyond the evasiveness of life. Red shoes. Stuffed birds. Sedentary paper cones. Props made or found that under Bodil Frendberg’s discerning eye are not only brought to life, but become central to a poetics of metamorphosis. A poetics made complete, and immortalised, through her textured and highly personalized approach to the process of photography. Freeing them from their intended functions and from oblivion in second-hand shops or skips, Bodil brings her props into settings created specifically for each piece, often in unexpected connections with the human figure. The play with light and shadow features strongly in the settings, in the search for an in-between space, that twilight zone rippling with the potential for release, for the taking on of new forms. Chosen with no less care than her props, the people photographed by Bodil are more important for their ability to convey a sense of the transitory nature of life, than their assertion of fixed readable identities. At a time when obsession with the body runs high, from object of political control to status symbol, the physical attributes of the body in Bodil’s work take second place to gestures, expressions or postures which subtley convey both the fragility of the self and the determination of the human spirit. Solitary figures emerge from the shadows or boldly intersect the light, always partially concealed but gaining presence and strength through the objects and settings with which they bizarrely interact” ANNE BURKE

Process Statement
My photographic work derives from the darkroom where I print my photographs by hand. I have worked extensively with lith printing which gives some of my photographs a pink, brown surface. This work is brought into the computer and printed out on Hahnemuhle photo rag 308 gsm using archival inks.

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