Life with Maggie

Talents 17 . Ofer Wolberger / Jennifer Crowley
October 10 2009 until December 06 2009
a.d.S. Life with Maggie © Ofer Wolberger
a.d.S. Life with Maggie © Ofer Wolberger
a.d.S. Life with Maggie © Ofer Wolberger
a.d.S. Life with Maggie © Ofer Wolberger
a.d.S. Life with Maggie © Ofer Wolberger

When you embark on a trip, you’re bound to have some experiences. That can certainly be said of Maggie, a young woman who has kept a colorful photo diary of all the places she has visited—from the beach in Pensacola, Florida, to the mountains of Monticello, Utah. She poses in the usual tourist style before sunsets at the water’s edge, picturesque landscapes, and modern architecture. The only odd thing about these travel photos is Maggie herself: in them she is always hiding her true identity behind a mask. Furthermore, her clothing often corresponds subtly with her surroundings, picking up their tones and textures. Can these pictures still be called classic vacation photos? What is actually being documented here? Who is this Maggie, and what is her real destination?

Maggie is a fictive character created by American photographer Ofer Wolberger, who pursues the question of identity in these staged photographs. In familiar-seeming pictures of real places, the mask worn by the protagonist seems false and strange, obscuring the true essence of the person behind it and preventing any direct contact. Although the mask is the constant that runs through the series, the change of clothing nevertheless reveals a fluid relationship between individual and environment. Wolberger shows, on the one hand, how strong the human need is to firmly situate one’s identity, and on the other, how difficult it is to answer the question of where one really belongs. Maggie’s travels are thus above all excursions in the search for one’s self.