Allemagne, absinthe, architecture
Söderberg’s interest in today’s society often triggers him to dig deep into our common history, with a keen interest in questions of faith, ethics and the shortcomings of human beings. Art history, philosophy, spirituality and existential queries infuse Söderberg’s artistic process and serve as a backdrop for his work.
In a time dominated by the growth of populism and an increasing number of global challenges, Fredrik Söderberg delves into the architecture of the Second World War and its aftermath. As in previous projects, he is searching for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms behind human behaviour and its implications in a historical context. The new exhibition may be seen as a continuation of Söderberg’s project Back to Nature in Germany (Galleri Riis, 2015). In our society today, the Germanic mythology – with its connotations of human catastrophe – is still notable in European architecture and in images of individuals who were instrumental in orchestrating warfare.
Landmark buildings in France and Germany are a constant reminder of the destructive but creative force of human nature. In the painting Skagerrak, Söderberg explores the ghostlike remnants of the fortifications built by the Germans in France during the Second World War. In the work The Third Reich Architecture, drawings of Albert Speer’s buildings form a collage in the shape of a towering, ominous building. Although Söderberg’s new paintings may be interpreted as research in the nature and aesthetics of war, he is also focusing on the human forces behind it. As such, we may look upon his works as a warning; we need to stay vigilant at all times. Balancing complex issues in the grey area between good and evil, light and shadow, Fredrik Söderberg’s exhibition is a result of diligent research, intense concentration and brilliant execution.