26 February — 10 April, 2016

Monika Macdonald

In Absence

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World.

It is a reflection of our times

That Monica Macdonald should choose a quotation from Brave New World starting with “But” is no coincidence. A sentence that begins with “but” hovers between something that has been said and something that is about to be said. The photographs in the exhibition In Absence pulsate with that which is otherwise unspoken. It is a reflection of our times in which old patterns are broken up and new ones are not communicated, where that which is purportedly normal remains stuck in a condition that many have already left.That which is found in the absence of definitions and is everyday flesh and blood: abandoned – born, divorced – newly found, singles – solitaires…

“We are looking forward immensely to presenting Monika Macdonald’s intriguing photography, which possesses an idiom all of its own. Her ability to communicate under the surface that which would otherwise be left unsaid is simply astonishing”, says Pauline Benthede, Exhibition Manager at Fotografiska.

The exhibition at Fotografiska is accompanied by the catalogue In Absence, published by renowned German publisher Kehrer Verlag and designed by Patric Leo, comprising 40 poetic and evocative images that jump out of the page, demanding our attention.

“There is a kind of erotic magnetism emanating from the people portrayed, rather than originating in the eye of the beholder...

...Instead of enticing interaction, it is an invitation to peek into a private world”, Monika Macdonald explains.

from introspection to lounging on the sofa

What is going on in the interspace that is left open for interpretation? What is it like to live together in different constellations?

Macdonald has chosen to portray mothers who live in a situation where the ordinary family is not the obvious norm, but neither do they want to be de ned on the basis of a simplified image of upright womanhood. Finding new forms of community is an ongoing process, a crooked path with no given or simple answers. It has little to do with definitions of good and bad emotions; it is a place where women are neither completely evil nor completely good, neither against one another, nor against men. Instead, here everything has its place, from introspection to lounging on the sofa, from sensual negligees to tender kisses between unwashed curtains of hair. That which is other- wise not visible – that which occurs In Absence.