In Character

June 25, 2009

Photographer and alumnus Ofer Wolberger (MFA 2001 Photography and Related Media) was recently selected to participate in C/O Berlin‘s “Talents” exhibition series. The annual series is an experimental forum for emerging photographers, and four artists are selected for solo exhibitions and accompanying publications. The “Talents” exhibition will display Wolberger’s collaborative project (Life with) Maggie, which follows the fictional character Maggie as she travels and collects snapshots from her journeys. With an appearance that is both masked and anachronistic, Maggie, in essence, constructs her identity through these snapshots.

While the exhibition at C/O Berlin does not open until the fall, currently “(Life with) Maggie” is at Michael Hoppen Contemporary in London and runs through Saturday, July 25.

Wolberger spoke with the Briefs about (Life with) Maggie:

Tell me about the character of Maggie.
The character of Maggie was conceived quite accidentally as my wife had a mask sitting around. When I saw it I immediately became intrigued. We made one picture together and that led to the next one. Eventually I realized that Maggie could travel and that I could basically put Maggie into any situation and make a photograph. She is, in essence, a license to document and record things that I normally wouldn’t be able to bring myself to photograph. In that sense, it grew into a dream project.

Your wife is the model portraying Maggie in these photographs. Did your relationship inspire the series?
In one sense, the project is a reflection of both of our interests and charts the course our relationship has taken. We sort of used Maggie as an excuse to learn about each other and learn about each others’ cultures, because I’m American and she is French. That’s why we focused the project on America and France.

Images: (top) Ofer Wolberger, James Dean and Me, Lost Hills, CA 2008 © Ofer Wolberger courtesy Michael Hoppen Contemporary; (bottom) Ofer Wolberger, Mont Saint Michel, France, 2007 © Ofer Wolberger courtesy Michael Hoppen Contemporary

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