Dana Sederowsky is one of our most noted contemporary artists. The exhibition at Fotografiska presents a selection of works from her entire career, as well as new works which have never been previously shown. She is the actor, the director and the artist who works consistently with a simple and efficient imagery, always with the point of departure in a conceptual framework comprising her own texts and experiences. Continuity is a crucial factor in the artistic process of learning to know the character.
Already as a student at the School of Photography in Gothenburg she established her alter ego, Doctor Dana, a nurse in a 1950s uniform who appears in photographs as well as films. “When I devised Doctor Dana I looked for a clear, universal symbol complete which expectations of what the person represents,” the artist explains.
Doctor Dana first appeared in 1998 in various places in New York. When Dana Sederowsky travelled to Capri in 2005 on a Hasselblad grant, Doctor Dana reappeared at the physician Axel Munthe’s Villa San Michele. Here she interacted with the surroundings, turning her back to the camera to survey the area, enclosed in the natural beauty.
For a long time Dana Sederowsky looked for a new place for Doctor Dana to act. In 2013 she discovered Beelitz-Heilstätten, home to a large hospital complex outside Berlin which was erected in 1897 and functioned as a military hospital during both the World Wars. In this series, the eerie setting speaks, a ruined and boarded-up place which is being overtaken by nature.
Alongside her photographic work, Dana Sederowsky also develops video monologues and texts in which she explores the formal and poetic aspects of language by linguistic exercises and phonological experiments. The viewer always encounters a face who addresses him or her directly.
The fifteen-minute video work “Head” is a stripped-down performative balancing act, accompanied by an existential, rumbling sound. In the series “Black Knot” from 2013, a twisted figure dressed in black is literally trying to tie herself into a knot in a black room. The series emerged after a couple of years of personal difficulties for Dana Sederowsky. They deal with how to endure, keep things together and realise that life goes on even if it collapses.
Dana Sederowsky was born in 1975 in Helsingborg, Sweden and lives and works in Gothenburg where she received her education at the School of Photography and at Valand Academy. Her work has been exhibited widely in Sweden and internationally, including: Museo de La Ciudad, Querétaro, Mexico; BALTIC, Newcastle, UK; Centre for Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg and Moscow, Russia; Kaunas Biennial, Lithuania; Borås Art Museum; Studio 44, Stockholm, and Göteborgs Konsthall. She has also held solo exhibitions at, among others, the Gothenburg Museum of Art; Borås Art Museum, and the Hasselblad Center. She is represented at the Hasselblad Foundation; Danderyd Hospital; National Centre for Contemporary Art Collection, Yekaterinburg, Russia; Gothenburg Museum of Art, and Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg. In 2015 Göteborgs Konsthall will present a major exhibition of Dana Sederowsky.