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Fotografiska Museum (Stockholm)

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Address: Stadsgardshamnen 22 / 116 45 Stockholm

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      16.11.2012 18:58
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      Art display or Museum?

      Fotografiska Museum, Stockholm.

      Back in February 2012 we took a trip to Stockholm for a long weekend. During our stay there we visited a few museums including one which had been recommended to me by a friend. The museum in question is the Fotografiska Museum.

      From the description I had received from my friend I was under the impression that this was some kind of museum showing the history of photography so I was quite intrigued and excited about visiting. However my expectations were not to be as when we arrived at the museum it wasn't actually what I would call a museum but more an art gallery of photography. Of course, I was a little disappointed but we had paid our entrance so I was going to make the most of it.


      The Centre For Contemporary Photography
      Since picking up some leaflets in Stockholm and upon my return home taking a look at the website for Fotografiska I can see that if I had done my research properly I would have known a little more about the museum and known what to expect.

      Advertised as the Centre for Contemporary Photography the Fotografiska is located in an old industrial building which sits on the edge of the docks in Stadsgarden. We walked to the museum from the main market square in the city centre and I would say it took us around 20 to 25 minutes at a normal walking speed in snowy conditions.

      The building itself is visible from a good distance and with the backdrop of rocks and boulders and the occasional train running past in the background it kind of reminded me of the buildings they used to have in Thomas the Tank engine when I was young.


      What a Queue!
      As we approached the entrance to the museum we could see a large queue from inside the building leading out of the doors and starting to form down the steps to the entrance too. We thought we were going to be in for a long wait and almost decided to leave this museum and try again the next day, however, the queue seemed to be moving quite fast and we were pretty cold so we decided to go in and to our surprise we only stood in the queue for around 5 minutes before we had our entrance tickets.

      We each paid 110 SEK (Swedish Krona) for entrance. Student and Senior tickets are available for 80 SEK and Children under 12 are free, which I think is probably good as this isn't the most exciting of places for children and as I will tell you in a moment it is also probably not the most suitable place for children either.

      After purchasing our tickets we walked through a barrier where I presume we should of had our tickets checked but at the time there didn't seem to be anyone checking them.


      The Exhibitions
      The exhibitions at Fotografiska change periodically which I guess will keep the museum popular for art and photography enthusiasts as they will want to make return visits to see new displays.

      At the time of our visit the museum had 3 main photography displays which I will now give you an overview of and my opinion...

      ===Inwards and Onwards: Anton Corbijn===
      As we entered the exhibit this was the first selection of photographs we came to. Personally I had never heard of the photographer Anton Corbijn, or any of the others I am going to mention later in the review for that matter. So, the first thing I noticed about Corbijn's work was that all of the photos were taken in black and white, at the time I wasn't really sure what Corbijn was trying to portray and in all honesty I'm still not sure. In general I thought there was a few decent photographs, nothing too exciting or attention grabbing for me though. His display also included a few photos which were a bit too freaky for my liking, for example a photo of a man with his eyes blacked out isn't what I would call art, it was more like a freeze frame from a horror film and this is what I meant earlier when I mentioned that some displays may not be suitable for the younger people!

      ===AITOR ORTIZ 1995-2010===
      The next art display took us up to the 2nd floor of the museum and was a selection of photographs taken by Spanish photographer Aitor Ortiz. The exhibition was named after the photographer with the dates 1995 - 2010. I presume this is the time period in which he took these photographs as I didn't see anything telling me otherwise.

      Most of the photos in this exhibition are mainly of buildings and structures which look abandoned. Looking at the photographs you get a weird sense of emptiness and lonely abandoned places, which in actual fact were full of life at the time of the photo but because we don't see the actual people we automatically presume it is an empty lonely space. The exhibition was aimed at making you think of the perception of time and space and in my opinion it worked really well and this was my favourite exhibition.

      ===Surrounded By No One: Margaret M. de Lange===
      The third exhibition on show during our visit was taken by Margaret M. de Lange and titled Surrounded By No One. For me, I didn't really like this exhibition, de Lange aims to capture the feeling of loneliness which people feel even when they are not alone. Her work aims to capture these feelings of loneliness and show the inner feelings which most people try to hide when surrounded by people. While I can appreciate that de Lange's work is of high quality and very in-depth, I cannot say I like it, this is simply because it isn't my thing and when it comes to photography I prefer artwork of scenery and landscape more than of people. It is also notable that a lot of her work involved scenes of nudity and in a couple of cases, suggestions of mild abuse or self harm, which in my opinion is not be suitable for young children.


      Other Info
      Fotografiska has a large cafe on the top floor, we didn't eat or drink here but from what I could see the prices were reasonable and only slightly higher than what you would pay in a cafe on the streets. The view out of the cafe window overlooks the docks and in February it looked particularly nice with the combination of snow and sunshine.

      Downstairs where you will exit the museum there is a shop which sells the usual souvenirs including bookmarks, key rings and fridge magnets, but they also sell many art books and poster prints including some from the displays they are currently showing. The prices for these books and prints are ever so slightly out of my price range but as I have been told many times, good art doesn't come cheap!

      All of the exhibitions are accessible to wheelchair users and pushchairs as the museum has large lifts to access all 3 floors of exhibits.

      The museum is open everyday from 10am until 9pm with an early opening of 7am during June, July and August.


      ==My Feelings==
      Ok, so you may have guessed from my descriptions of the exhibits that I am not really an 'art critic' I certainly don't know all of the in's and out's and in a way I do feel that because of this I didn't really appreciate this museum as much as a photography or art enthusiast might. Regardless of this fact though, I did still enjoy my time at Fotografiska and while it wasn't my 'normal' kind of place to visit and I probably wouldn't visit again unless I saw a display advertised which I was very interested in, I would still recommend it to you. The exhibitions are displayed well and the museum itself is quite large which is nice as it was rather busy at the time of our visit but thanks to the exhibitions being spread over a large area it didn't really feel that busy.

      I will give the museum 3 out of 5 stars as I don't think they make it clear at all that some of the displays may not be suitable for little ones and with the free entrance for under 12's this may encourage people to take children to the museum unaware of what they may see.


      Thanks for reading :)

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