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Published on Sep 16, 2009
HASSELBLAD CENTER 5SEPT - 25OCT 2009. The Swedish artist Mikael Olsson has in his latest project been exploring the heritage of Bruno Mathsson, one of Swedish modernism's leading designers, through two of his architectural works. In Frösakull -- a house that Mathsson both designed and lived in Olsson has interacted with the remains of the house, and like Mathsson he has experimented with the house and its possibilities. The result is a collection of images which show us an interpretation of an architectonic legacy. Olsson has arranged and transformed the rooms into a stage, often using light, emptiness and shadow as the only props. The Södrakull residence, which had been closed off since Mathsson passed away, is approached in a different way: as a voyeur. The interiors are photographed from the outside and through half-drawn curtains. Olsson is here a surreptitious observer rather than participator and the images reflect an outsider's fettered view of a private domain. In this body of work Olsson has created an interplay between presence and absence, inner meaning and representation. The images are marked both by intimacy and distance. Together they form a sort of portrait, as well as a chronicle of architecture, remembrance and aging. For this reason the photographs cannot be considered documentary but instead a very subjective depiction of Mathsson's public and private legacy.