Fictional Reality
Ann Pettersson

June 10 – July 31, 2010

Ann Pettersson (Stockholm, 1965) uses photography to construct a fictional reality. She deconstructs the conventional view of our surroundings and reveals a world unlike the one that we generally regard as being tangible. Pettersson dissociates herself from literal representation by reacting to the local conditions and manipulating these in such a way, that a dreamlike, sometimes illusory image is created.

Pettersson seeks out the metropolitan fringes and underdeveloped, only ever partially cultivated areas. These natural and cultural landscapes appear in her work as symbols for the state of the human condition, in which an emotional sensibility is also only ever partially revealed. She projects her own musings on the landscape by consistently making her interventions, in terms of /regarding the scene, the attitude, the translation and the intensity, a tangible presence in her work. She brings together motifs such as panoramic horizons or highly detailed pictorial elements, by photographing them repeatedly on top of one another. Waves appear to intersect each other (Blue), leafy boughs pose as a streaming waterfall (Interval), and behind the jagged rebar, beside the building excavation, heavy equipment seems to dissolve into thin air (Twin).
People seldom appear in the work; the landscape is experienced without the intermediation of
human figures. The observer thus becomes a part of the work, by actively engaging in and
identifying with it. She makes the observer a captive cohort in her landscape

Pettersson takes multiple exposures on a single negative. She consigns each shot to memory and considers this when selecting the following motif. Pettersson brings these motifs together either in a cadence or an imbalance, to form a single image. The character of the work approaches that of a drawing or a painting. Colours blend together and serve to distance the work from the original motifs. Pettersson disassembles the traditional, documentary interpretation of the photographic medium, in order to examine the boundaries of the plausible. In some of the pieces, the motifs cautiously come to the fore; like a glimpsed memory that evaporates in the blink of an eye. The time span between the exposures then becomes visible (as in the Shifting-series). While in other pieces the motifs become inextricably fused (as in Gleam). Images emerge with an unadulterated photographic appearance.

Ann Pettersson reacts to the prevailing conventions and basic assumptions with which people
regard their surroundings, and puts these expectations to the test by balancing the image
between the real and the illusory. The landscape as a subject is flexible but remains genuine,
however artificial the images sometimes appear. Pettersson examines and questions the reasoning behind this by formally distancing herself from that which reason dictates about her subject. The character of the landscape always serves as an allegorical tool for creating an image. Nature, the unnatural, human interventions and the resulting urban landscape are weighed against each other on various levels.

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Actividad realizada con la ayuda del Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte