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Michael Hoppen Gallery, London : (Life with) Maggie by Ofer Wolberger

GoSee would like to draw our NEWS readers’ attention to the last chance to see “(Life with) Maggie” an exhibition and project by Ofer Wolberger, on show at the Michael Hoppen Contemporary Gallery, London. This intriguing show closes on 25 July but there are still a few days left to marvel at Maggie’s magic.

In today’s predominantly visual culture, where we are bombarded daily by a mass of photos uploaded onto social network sites such as Facebook and MySpace, documenting the latest snapshots from our “friends’” lives, photography has been a powerful vehicle that contemporary artists have used to examine notions of identity and conflicts of self-perception.

Indeed, it is interesting to note that Ofer Wolberger, who explores these modern themes, ironically met his collaborative partner and fiancé Billie Martineau through a social networking site himself. He was in New York, she was in a small city in the Loire Valley. Over a six months stretch, the physical distance between them was successively erased through a mutual appreciation of the finer things in life – as in old films, indie music, photography, and painting. This also progressed to include small packages containing cd's, images and ephemera. When they finally met, the relationship took on a romantic shape, blossoming into an incredibly productive and rewarding partnership. They now live and work together in New York City.

Hence, the role of Maggie is always portrayed by Billie, who is in turn eternalised on camera by Ofer. Maggie is a fictional character who seems transported from another time and place, a world seemingly set in the past, yet imbued with distinctly modern concerns. Her style is peculiar and compelling, she travels around the modern world, but chooses to only stop at sites with a slippery sense of time. She appears almost as a timeless time traveller – constructing her identity through the photographs. Whilst the majority of our contemporaries dedicate copious hours to constructing their online identities for all their “friends” to see on social networking sites, carefully editing their selection to create a self conceived image, Maggie is out in the physical world, attempting to understand how and where she fits in.

However, through her hunt to find these places where she best blends into her surroundings, Maggie is constantly on the move, unable to settle for one place. So although she belongs to a space it is only for a moment in time, before she moves onto the next, ultimately forcing her to remain an outsider. She appears confident and vulnerable in the snapshots, all at once. Seen from another perspective, Maggie's desire to travel is an attempt to connect with people and places around the world.

Wolberger has an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. He was awarded The Humble Arts Foundation's Spring 2008 Grant for Emerging Photographers. His photographs have been exhibited around the world, most recently in Tim Barber's Various Photographs as part of the New York Photo Festival and in Young Curators, New Ideas at Bond Street Gallery in Brooklyn. He was also chosen as one of four artists to take part in the 2009 Talents exhibition at the C/O gallery, Berlin.

›(Life with) Maggie‹
Ofer Wolberger
04.06. - 25.07.2009

Michael Hoppen Gallery

3 Jubilee Place
SW3 3TD London