Friday, 9 February 2007

Lars Tunbjörk Exhibition

Lars Tunbjörk at OpenEye Gallery - Image © 2007 David Toyne

I recently interviewed renowned Swedish documentary photographer Lars Tunbjörk. Later I attended the preview of his first U.K. exhibition at the OpenEye Gallery in Liverpool. The exhibition consists of three aspects of his work. The Office Series (2001) which shows all the underlying chaos and claustrophobia of the modern corporate workplace. The images are taken with a wry sense of humour while retaining the disturbing claustrophobia of the hot desking, cube farmed, globalized workplace. The second series Dom Alla (All Those) 2002, looks at institutional environments in the Swedish welfare systems.

© Lars Tunbjörk, Lawyer’s office, New York, 1997 - From the series Office. Courtesy of Galerie Vu
© Lars Tunbjörk, Lawyer’s office, New York, 1997.
From the series Office. Courtesy of Galerie Vu

The third and final series in the exhibition is Madrid, 2004 a very stark series of images of the residential developments on the outskirts of Madrid. It is an almost alien landscape punctuated by feeble attempts to add a plant here or a border there. In stark contrast to the Office series there are no people at all in these images. Its a suburban landscape repeated all over the brave new world of Neo-Europe and Lars demonstrates it very well. The lyrics of the Dead Kennedy's came to mind as I looked at this work. The chant of 'This could be anywhere! this could be everywhere...' echo'd round my head. It could have been a statement or a warning and the same can be said of Lars Tunbjörk's well observed photographic narratives. When asked about this he enigmaticaly said simply 'you decide.' and i'd certainly recommend everyone visits this exhibition and does just that.

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