Midnight Milk

Marie Sjøvold

Words and photographs by Marie Sjøvold

I work with photography and video installation to explore themes such as home, time, identity and reality in order to understand what these concepts mean at different stages of life. My work transgresses boundaries between genres in a playful and intimate approach to important issues. I strive to tell universal stories and I use myself, my experiences and my family in my projects.

In Midnight Milk I focus on what happens to a woman’s sense of self when she becomes a mother. The identity of Nordic women is in a constant state of flux, yet the role of motherhood is not changing at the same speed or in the same direction.

This creates conflict and a feeling of ambivalence for many women. Midnight Milk is a photographic voyage through my own life, as I attempt to understand what happens at this unique crossroads in life.

The stage for motherhood is set long before a child is born: the set, props and other actors are in waiting. As a child enters the world and creates a new family, personal history and the inevitable passing of time becomes more apparent. All of a sudden the roles of the generations are mixed up. Slowly, we create our own homes and our own traditions, adding new branches to the family tree. As time goes by, our children find their own place in this story, leaving their own footprints.

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Common in all of my work are small glimpses from physical and mental landscapes. Over time all of these elements fuse together to form a larger image. I photograph observations in my everyday life, but also a staged and subjective reality. The aspect of time is static and smeared yet often the projects have a circular form so beginning and end is connected.

Although my work over the last ten years consists of various projects and themes, they are all connected. Whether it is a small intimate book on an unknown person’s bedside, images on a museum wall or installations in private homes, they are all a part of a bigger life project. My life project.

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Marie Sjøvold (1982, NO) is a camera based visual artist working on long term projects. From 1999-2003 she studied photography with photographer Kjell Brustad in Oslo. In 2003 she moved to Berlin, where she started doing independent works and exhibitions. In parallel, she worked as a photojournalist, traveling the world on assignments for newspapers and magazines. The documentary work influenced her personal work and steered it a more political direction on anthropological issues.

In 2008 she moved back to Norway and did the project “She is”, which was published as the book “Dust Catches Light” in 2011 by Journal Forlag. In 2011 she was also awarded “European Photo Exhibition Award” and from 2011-2013 she is part of Norwegian Journal of Photography, a program supporting 10 independent photographers in Norway. Her work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and on photo festivals worldwide such as Deichtorhallen (Hamburg), Calouste Gulbenkian (Paris), Lumina Photo Festival 2012 (Lucca), Goethe Institutt, (Oslo), le Bar Floréal (Paris), Fotogalleriet (Oslo), Fotografisk Center (Copenhagen), Pingyao International Photofestival (China), Riga Photomonth (Riga) and at the Nobel Peace Center (Oslo) and many more.

Selected publications: Pust (2006, self-published), Disappearing Hours (2007, self-published), Dust catches Light (2011, Journal Forlag), and Norwegian Journal of Photography (2013, Journal Forlag).

nineteensixtyeight presents a selection of 5 images from the series Midnight Milk, available to buy in our shop.

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