Fryd Frydendahl: MAZE – Potential Archives

Fryd Frydendahl, 86.01, Så tilspørger jeg dig - en bryllupsbog, 2022
  • Fryd Frydendahl

In the exhibition MAZE – Potential Archives Fryd Frydendahl has explored various archives and collections. Frydendahl has drawn up the works by interpreting material from archives and collec­tions by way of her own distinctive imagination.

The works are visual references that investigate and pay tribute to the complex systems found in archives and collections – from the classification system in libraries to personal collections or histo­rical archives – digital as well as physical. The exhibition includes works where Frydendahl has interpreted books from Hillerød Library in connection with the exhibition LÅNERKORT (LIBRARY TICKET) at Vandrehallen Kunsthal (2022). In MAZE – Potential Archives Frydendahl works further with strands from the fascination with human tendencies and elaborates by exploring a variety of archives and collections. Frydendahl forms her own archive by creating new visual references through her works and demonstrates a clear fascination with human curiosity and the need for systems. The strands from this fascination result in an explosion of references and questions.

In the story The Library of Babel by the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges he describes a fictive and endless library where all that can be written has already been written – emphasi­sing that the archives and collections of reality will never be completed, since infinity is only potential, and not achieved. Frydendahl’s works explore this principle, preparing the way for eternal develop­ment – circularity – and at the same time question the idea of originality. How can something original arise in a potentially endless web of references? And how do references arise in a potentially infinite archive of information?

The exhibition space has been transformed into a maze consisting of three layers that categorise the works into a factual, a metaphysical and a fictional level. The three layers have pro­vided a working method for an overview of the infinite source material. The exhibition elucidates and explores the human fascination with and need to organise and systematise the incompre­hen­sible in order to store, remember and archive objects and knowledge. All the strange and subtle divisions and subdivisions into indices and categories, classification systems and detailed files that someone has sat and conceived can seem wonderfully cryptic and easy to become lost in, like a human mind, like a MAZE. 

About the artist
Fryd Frydendahl divides her practice between Western Jutland, Copenhagen, and New York, where she works within photographic visual art. Frydendahl was born on the west coast of Jutland in 1984, graduated from Fatamorgana in 2006, the Danish School of Art Photography, and received an advanced certificate from The International Center of Photography in 2009. Frydendahl has published several books and has exhibited widely in recent years, including solo exhibitions at V1 Gallery, Politikens Gallery and Baxter Street Gallery at The Camera Club New York. Her book Nephews (Konnotation Press 2016) was followed by an exhibition at V1 Gallery, where Frydendahl is represented. Selected works from the series Nephews have been acquired for the permanent collections at Statens Museum for Kunst, The National Collection of Photography, The Royal Danish Library, and Kunstmuseum Brandts. Frydendahl is currently the director at Fatamorgana, the Danish School of Art Photography.


Event in connection with the exhibition
In connection with the exhibition, a conversation will be held with the new book publisher Marrow Press (founded by Jacob Birch and Finn Wergel Dahlgren) and Fryd Frydendahl. Marrow Press has just published the book Salad Days, a collection of 150 portraits created by Fryd Frydendahl in the period 2012-2022. The talk will be held April 27 at 17-18 at Fotografisk Center.

In connection with the exhibition, Fotografisk Center publishes a smaller publication with a text by Mette Kia Krabbe Meyer, Ph.D. in Art and Cultural Studies and Senior Researcher in Special Collections at the Royal Danish Library, who in personal and essayistic ways unfolds the wonderful essence and universe of the library and literature.

Image: Fryd Frydendahl, Petit Cornichon, Eleanor Swordy, Pastel on paper, 14” x 11”, 2022. Moscowitz Bayse

The exhibition has been made possible with support from: The City of Copenhagen, The Danish Arts Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation, the Danish Art Workshops and DGI Byen.

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