Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Maria Friberg



Maria Friberg. Driven, 1998.

color, silent, 4 min. 30 secs. Monika Larsen Dennis and Maria Friberg. "Bodies sway, black silhouettes against a white background, blurred movements in dreamlike slow-motion. In their collaborative piece, 'Driven' (1998), Monika Larsen Dennis and Maria Friberg act out a brutal push-and-pull choreography, a dance macabre of equal amounts desire and violence. But despite its directness, the work carefully balances between polarities, visualizing a state of ambiguity in-between reciprocity and repulsion.The two protagonists are carefully cropped at the neck and at the thighs, their elegant two-piece suits effectively concealing all apparent gender attributes, leaving the viewer in an uneasy state, a limbo between knowing, feeling, and guessing. 'Driven'. The title implies that these people are unable to control their own actions, that they are possessed, literally driven by some internal force. They are puppets at the hands of passion, actors in a play whose every turn is carefully staged beforehand, directed by invisible hands. The slow-motion movements of the looped video sequence enhance its dreamlike, slightly surreal atmosphere, while extending an intimate moment into epic proportions—a quality which is given even greater importance when the video is projected in a public space. Monika Larsen Dennis and Maria Friberg met at The Royal Academy of the Arts in Stockholm in the mid-90s, and have worked together on several projects. They share a common interest in exploring—and confusing—gender roles, or any other given set of rules for that matter. Together, these two artists create performances and artworks which challenge notions of masculinity and femininity, but the major elements of their works are rather communication, particulary between lovers and friends, and dependency. Sometimes these themes are explored brutally, but there are also moments of tenderness in their mutual oeuvre. Their common esthetic is characterized by reduction and repetition, elements 'borrowed' from Minimalism but recontextualized and incorporated in a much more literary and emotional context. Whether working with performance, photography or video, they amalgamate the message with the technique, so that the final product is inseparable from the medium. This is particularly true for 'Driven'." ---Bo Madestrand, Journalist / Art critic, Stockholm


passion, violence, desire, fantasy, surreal, performativity, gender, femininity, masculinity, collaboration, relationship, play, power, business suits, repulsion, lovers, friends, dependency

somewhere elsealmost there embedded #3still lives #3still lives #1still lives #5Driven

Stockholm, Sweden


Text, images, audio, and/or video in the Feminist Art Base are copyrighted by the contributing artists unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.