November 27 2014 – March 1 2015
A new addition to the portraits on show in Malmö is the singer, rapper and songwriter Jason Diakité, stage name Timbuktu. In a track called Annie Leibovitz on his album För livet till döden (For life until death), he sings about image and reality – “a photo freezes time but life rarely wants to freeze”. Timbuktu's lyrics demonstrate his immense gift for language and his strong political commitment. In Fredrik Etoall’s portrait he stands at the margin between land and sea – between what is fixed and known and the great unknown.
Crossing Borders is part of a joint project between Nationalmuseum and Swedavia. An airport is where people who travel across borders meet. The exhibition comprises portraits of Swedes who work or have become famous outside Sweden: musicians, writers, diplomats, businessmen, athletes, inventors, actors and researchers.
Their work takes them away from Sweden and also across borders that are not only geographic. It may involve breaking a world swimming record or changing our views of global social changes.
For Nationalmuseum, this exhibition involves crossing a border, as the art will be on display in a venue it has never previously visited.
Different Impressions and Expressions
Several generations of photographers are represented, from Hans Gedda and Denise Grünstein to Sanna Sjöswärd and Magnus Laupa. They seek different forms of expression and inspiration from both advertising and fashion photography, as well as film and video. Sometimes this adds to the theatrical quality. The portraits are deliberately staged.
At the same time there are examples of intimacy and distance, close-ups and formal poses. Thomas Wågström’s portrait of the biochemist and inventor Petra Wadström was commissioned for this exhibition but the others have been produced in other contexts. All have been acquired by the Swedish National Portrait Gallery, which is managed by Nationalmuseum.
The Swedish National Portrait Gallery
The Swedish National Portrait Gallery has its main location at Gripsholm Castle and is the world’s oldest national portrait gallery. It contains over 4,600 portraits of prominent Swedes from the 16th century to the present day. These include a large number of royal personages, but also famous figures such as Greta Garbo, Ingmar Bergman and Dag Hammarskjöld.
Nationalmuseum is acquiring the works to be included in the exhibition as part of a concerted effort to increase the number of contemporary Swedish newsmakers represented in the portrait collection.