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Swedish Photo Book Prize to Maria Miesenberg

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On the 1 November the Swedish artist Maria Miesenberg was awarded the Swedish Photo Book Prize 2011 for her book Sverige/Schweden (Steidl). Derived from Miesenberger's private family album the darkly, evocative images of the Sverige/Schweden series create a narrative of epical proportions. By re-presenting her father’s images of her childhood in Austria and Sweden, Miesenberger transforms these images to another order of speech. The photographed persons are no longer recognised as individuals. They are set afloat as dark hollow shapes in the image. In these innocent looking images of the small nuclear family an inherited memory is hidden but present, the father’s childhood in Austria in the presence of war and genocide is hiding behind the shadows. Miesenberger began her work with the series already back in 1992 and the idea was from the beginning to let the viewer face himself and his memories.

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