On March 26, in coordination with our ongoing exhibition The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch’s Photography, Scandinavia House presents a virtual program celebrating the release of the illustrated book The Experimental Self: The Photography of Edvard Munch, awarded with diploma as one of The Year’s Most Beautiful Books, 2021 by Grafill, Norway’s National Organization for Visual Communication. The publication includes 120 fully illustrated pages alongside essays by curator Patricia G. Berman, Tom Gunning and MaryClaire Pappas, available for purchase in the Shop at Scandinavia House. In today’s program, renowned Munch scholar Patricia G. Berman will examine a selection of photographs featured in the exhibition. Next, MaryClaire Poppas will expand on her essay in the catalogue, examining a series of self-portraits (or, “Selfies”), taken by Munch, also featured in the exhibition. Following these two presentations, Dr. Berman and Pappas will join ASF President Edward Gallagher as moderator in a discussion with about the relevance of Munch’s photos today. This program will air on this page as a Virtual Premiere on Saturday, March 26 at 1 PM ET via YouTube and will remain available to view here throughout the weekend; it will later be available to stream on the Exhibition Page.
Created in conjunction with the exhibition, The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch’s Photography, an exhibition organized by American-Scandinavian Foundation with The Munch Museum in Oslo first brought the photographic work of the master painter to NYC in 2017/18 before traveling worldwide.
The exhibition, curated by the Munch scholar Patricia G. Berman, drew widespread acclaim for introducing audiences to his photographic and film work, emphasizing the artist’s experimentalism, and examining his exploration of the camera as an expressive medium. This exhibition includes Munch’s experimental portraiture of friends and family as well as his self-portraiture, including images from what he termed his “Fatal Destiny” portfolio, staged between 1902 and 1908. By probing and exploiting the dynamics of “faulty” practice, such as distortion, blurred motion, eccentric camera angles, and other photographic “mistakes,” Munch photographed himself and his immediate environment in ways that rendered them poetic. In both still images and in his few forays with a hand-held moving-picture camera, Munch not only archived images, but invented them. The exhibition returned to Scandinavia House this winter with a newly conceived design and a section including vintage camera equipment. It can be viewed virtually here.
Links will be added here closer to the date; please check back to set watch reminders.
About the Speakers
A professor of art history at Wellesley College, Dr. Patricia Berman is a leading specialist in early modern Scandinavian art and the author of numerous important scholarly publications in the field. From 2010-2015, she held a faculty position at the University of Oslo, Norway, where she continues to be part of a research project entitled “Edvard Munch, Modernism, and Modernity.”
Her curatorial work has included Munch|Warhol and the Multiple Print (2013, New York and Ankara, Turkey); Luminous Modernism: Scandinavian Art Comes to America, A Centennial Retrospective 1912-2012 (2011, American-Scandinavian Foundation); In Munch’s Laboratory: The Path to the Aula (2011, Munch Museum, Oslo), Edvard Munch and the Modern Life of the Soul (2006, Museum of Modern Art, NY).
MaryClaire Pappas is a PhD Candidate at Indiana University specializing in modern European Art, with an emphasis on Scandinavian paintings, prints, and drawings. Her dissertation, “Imaging Modernity: Modernism between Norway and Sweden, 1910-1920” foregrounds how notions of artistic subjectivity informed artistic practices in the early twentieth century, priding individualism, embodied cognition, and the temperament of the artist. Her larger research interests include gender and modernism, and ideas of the self in modernist culture. MaryClaire holds an MA degree from Queen’s University and has previously worked developing a public sculptural program at Indiana University, and on the Catalogue Raisonné project for Edvard Munch’s drawings at the Munch Museum.