In Music Box Dahlberg presents the inner working of a small private heirloom at the scale of magnified microcosm. In the large-format video work Music Box, currently on view at in the exhibition The Art of Mourning at Bonniers Konsthall, the viewer follows the camera’s journey though the confined space of a small music box - an object with personal and historical significance for the artist.
The tiny mechanisms of the box take on an industrial character in this expanded scale and recall the austerity of Adolf Lazi’s Neue Sachlichkeit photographs of the 1930’s, and the cinematic visual language of Chaplin’s Modern Times and Lang’s Metropolis. The associations of industrial alienation coexist with the intimacy of the personal object and the proximity of the camera. In another cinematic analogue the music box suggests a kind of Wellesian Rosebud significance that is never resolved. The literary allusion would be Proust’s Madeleine Cake - the intense gaze inside the box leads not to traces of Dahlberg’s own history but instead to associative moments in the history of industrialism and cinema.
In this photographic print time slows down and comes to a halt. The frozen scenography of the diorama is both methodology and story-telling device. Dahlberg fictionalises reality and constructs a framework on which cinema and architecture are connected in their narrative potential, each built on the memory of accumulated sequences.
Read mote about the exhibibion here.