Fotomuseum Winterthur | Saturday, 19.11.1994 – Sunday, 08.01.1995

Stranger than Paradise – Contemporary Photography from Scandinavia

The original trace of a clearly defined identity, the reassuring roots in nature, family, and tradition have been wiped away – even in the Nordic countries of Europe, in which nature and family long played a formative and integrating role. The former connection has been broken multiple times. We are no longer at home in the world, and, with painful irony, we experience nature as the suburb, as if in deep freeze, as a travel destination; history, we experience as a nicely sewn together construct; the family, as a diffuse shadow theater; and ourselves, as spirals of DNA. This ironic distance stands in opposition to the Romantic yearning to overcome this separation, for clarity over fraud, for tangibility. Irony and Romanticism sometimes come into conflict with one another, but sometimes they walk hand in hand – fully aware of the irreversibility of this loss.

Steven Henry Madoff has chosen twenty contemporary photographers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, who all deal with the desire and bitterness, fantasy and strictness of this situation – with our present, which occasionally seems stranger than paradise.

With Tune Andersen (DK), Börkur Arnarson (IS), Tone Arstila (FI), Lill-Ann Chepstow-Lusty (NO), Dawid (SE), Dan Fröberg (SE), Jan Kaila (FI), Kapa (FI), Annica Karlsson-Rixon (SE), Patrik Karlström (SE), Timo Kelaranta (FI), Svanur Kristbergsson (IS), Leif Lindberg (SE), Kim Lykke Jørgensen (DK), Maria Miesenberger (SE), Ane Mette Ruge (DK), Marja Söderlund (FI), Erik Steffensen (DK), Per Olav Torgnesskar (NO), and Sven Westerlund (SE).

The exhibition was curated by Steven Henry Madoff. Realisation in Winterthur: Urs Stahel and Jan-Erik Lundström. A collaboration with the American-Scandinavian Foundation and the Fotografskia Museet i Moderna Museet, Stockholm.