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Mary Frey

Domestic Rituals / Real Life Dramas

6. June - 16. June

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Join a guided tour in the exhibition with Festival director, Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen on the 13th of June at 19.30. Buy tickets for 50 kr here.

What is real and what is set up? And does this mean anything when our everyday lives are portrayed on Instagram or in an art hall?

The series Domestic Rituals by the American photographer Mary Frey (b. 1948) is shot in her own neighborhood in Massachusetts in the years 1979-1984. It portrays an everyday life with children, teenagers and adults in the American middle class.
The photos are somewhere between snapshots and staged photography and are both intimate and distant at the same time. Her following series Real Life Dramas (1984-1987) appears documentary in both photos and text, but are in fact fully staged and set up for the purpose of discussing the way we show reality and truth through the photograph.

“Their appearance is meant to hover somewhere between reality and soap opera in order to question the “truth” of the camera’s vision” – Mary Frey.

In 1986, works from her series Real Life Dramas (1984-90)were a part of the exhibition New Photography 2 at MoMa and again in the group exhibition Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort in 1991 with names such as Sally Mann, Cindy Sherman and William Eggleston.

The American photographer Mary Frey is experiencing a renaissance right now, according to festival director Maja Dyrehauge: “Her staged scenes from the American middle class put today’s discussions of authenticity and self-staging in a more historical perspective. The self-staging in Mary Frey’s photographs draws parallels to the everyday life of today, where big parts of life is shared and staged on social media.”

Mary Frey received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1984 for her black and white-photographs in Domestic Rituals.

Both Domestic Rituals and Real Life Dramas are kindly loaned to us by Forum für Fotografie in Cologne.

The exhibition is funded by Statens Kunstfond, Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond, Knud Højgaards Fond and Københavns Kommune.