Critics’ Picks

Weightless Space 1, 2004.


Jonas Dahlberg

Galerie Nordenhake | Stockholm
Hudiksvallsgatan 8
March 6–April 17

With “Invisible Cities”—an ongoing series of photographic studies for a forthcoming film of the same name—Jonas Dahlberg continues his experiments with scale, spatiality, cinematic experience, and passive versus active surveillance. The nocturnal scenes depicted in the photographs Location Shots 001–008, 2003, have an eerie atmosphere, like that of his film One Way Street, 2002, which premiered at Manifesta 4. There, the camera silently glides down a seemingly endless empty street lined with ghostly modernist houses. (In fact it's a loop, shot in an architectural model.) Here the anonymous suburban thoroughfares are real—Dahlberg took all the pictures in obscure towns with between ten thousand and fifty thousand inhabitants—but the buildings' windows have been erased. These blind surfaces prohibit any gaze, in or out. Unlike Calvino’s fantasy constructions, these cities are invisible because they're faceless, existing unnoticed in splendid isolation from the larger world. In the main gallery, a projection on the rear wall simulates a strange extension of the white cube, in which a potted plant seems to float in viscous weightlessness. Again, the viewer is positioned at a disorienting threshold: Are we observers or inmates?