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about the work

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I tell stories from my personal domain that are specific, yet universal. Most of my work is process based and interdisciplinary – from concept and discussions, to production and execution. It crosses the lines of performance, film, photography and installation. I return to similar subjects, but narrate them in different ways — site, rite, time, memory, identity, gender and origin — seeking to peel of layers and understand a sense of displacement.

Intimacy (longing and belonging) and disconnection (loss and alienation) are themes that interest me. The work is usually site specific where I stage different scenarios, conversations between location and figure, in which the body’s presence and absence is a metaphor for impermanence and transience. It has always been natural to be part of my own work. By participating with my body, through ritual, repetition and movement, I reconnect to the source and experience insight and healing.

I seek to touch upon fragile and visceral aspects of life — whether it is film or a still photograph. I approach this with a sense of expanded time, allowing the viewer to contemplate a deeper meaning buried within the language of a world that resides between dream and reality — a realm of images, sounds and memories. Within this lyrical world I tell stories without the necessity of an obvious narrative, creating fragmented tales that function as a catalyst for the viewer’s personal fantasies — an open door into one’s own self discovery.

 

greyscales

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grove

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Before my father passed away he said: One day you will realize where you belong, and you will go home. This work is about that journey.
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Grove speaks about the notion of homeland, cultural and gender identity and personal/collective history. I grew up in Sweden in a home with great tension due to cultural differences. My father left when I was 5 and started a new life in his native Greece. I often felt torn between people, cultures and homes: Sweden, Greece and Austria (where I was born). In 2007, my father passed away due to cancer, leaving behind some property on the island of Crete. Division of land between people is a premise for conflict. The two brothers inherited houses. Being a woman I was given the very least — half of an olive grove up in the hills. Could I live in what had been given to me, in what had come to symbolize my roots and origin? In 2010, I traveled to Crete to spend time in the grove. It was an experiment to explore the idea of home and my own personal history. Ownership of property is as transitory as life itself. We all arrive and depart with nothing. The Grove series represents a sleeping body and the idea of compressing time through night-long exposures into the two-dimensional frame. Essentially a diary — it is an investigation of time, and deals with the physicality, surface and ambiguities of the imaginary and material world. The representation of my body asleep in the cocoon of the hammock, dissolved and re-materialized through extended exposures, functions as a metaphor for impermanence and transience.

 

 
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reciprocity failure

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illuminations

In 2002 my relationship was slowly falling apart. While trying to save our relationship it became obvious the break had become inevitable. As a way of documenting our last days together, I started making one photograph every night. The camera shutter was left opened for 3 to 8 hours every night in front of our bed in a darkened bedroom, and as the beginning morning light arrived the exposure was interrupted. It is a private journal, documenting time and memory, where present meets past.  

 
...when love and companionship encounters longing and disconnection

media

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An enlightening exhibition about love and loss... inspired by impending heart break... anyone who has experienced it just want to move on, but you were documenting it!
— Contessa Brewer, NBC
A view from the foot of her bed, the most intimate of place you can find suddenly becomes universal
— Posture Magazine
Florence Montmare took that experience and turned it on its head ... incredibly beautiful and, dare we say it, quite poignant.
— TimeOut New York
A multi-sensory experience of the relationship and its demise
— New York Post

Interview with Contessa Brewer, NBC.