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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Untitled
Date: 1999
Medium: Chromogenic print mounted on aluminum
Dimensions: 40 x 50 in. (101.6 x 127 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Nicholas Patti, Sr.
Object Number: 2003.073.012
Label Text: Anneè Olofsson’s work both in video and photography tends to deal with physical and psychological discomfort. The simplicity of her photographs, inspired by contemporary life and memories of childhood, belies the complexity of emotions behind them. Olofsson uses herself, her parents, and friends as subjects. Instead of images that shock, she sets up simple scenarios in dramatic lighting that reveal subconscious anxieties in almost painterly compositions.

This photograph is from her Demons series that included nine photographs and a seven-hour video. In the series, a uniformed bodyguard follows a young woman (Olofsson herself) closely, capturing the woman in situations that reveal little—a beach at night, a dark hallway, a hospital bed. Throughout, the bodyguard persists as a shadow. Is he protective or menacing? Does he fend off demons or is he a projection of her inner ones? In reality, Olofsson actually hired the guard during an artist residency in Gdansk, Poland. With Gdansk’s post–Cold War environment fueling her nightmares and exaggerating her sense of vulnerability, Olofsson had the bodyguard accompany her everywhere. The photographic series is the result of their daily interactions, engaging the performative aspects of photography. ("Staged, Performed, Manipulated," curated by Andrea Inselmann and presented at the Johnson Museum January 24 - June 7, 2015)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.