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BFA Fine Art

Maja Oldefors

Notice and Game

Video, 12 min loop

An omen, a premonition. That everything is as it should be and that nothing is right. You are standing in the queue for the coffee machine and there are whispers of cuts and savings. You gather around the bait in the woods and your horns clash in rutting power games for partners and prestige. Another scans for danger, her long ears flicking back and forth to detect potential threats as she tightens her grip on the important document briefcase. She is late for the meeting, the salary negotiation, the cultivated crops in the neighborhood gardens.

In her artistic practice, Maja Oldefors moves in the borderlands between existence and non-existence, between function and meaninglessness, between what the eye can see and that which is only felt at the edge of your vision. With this entry point, the idea of the office – perhaps as a stage for a spectacle – has played an increasingly important role in her work. The expected actions and behaviors of the characters are taken out of their normal settings and made unstable, distorted into events that in their new context appear bizarre or surreal.

In Notice and Game, a 12-minute silent video montage, the viewer is confronted by these recognizable relations and structures placed in a barren wilderness. The formally dressed individuals pose like prey in the infrared gaze of the night-vision tracking camera, a position where human meaning and function is juxtaposed against the uncertain existence of the frightened animal. Who cares about a successful deal when the forest’s shadows are pressing ever closer as the hunter’s rifle goes off in the distance?

The artist’s warmest thanks to the participating actors: the Björn family, the Falk family, the Henricsson family, the Fistouris family, friends Linus, Amanda, Gustav, Niklas, Fia and most of all the immediate family mom, dad, Jonas, Agnes and Robinsson the cat.

Thank you also to all of Sweden’s confused office workers, Swedish fauna and every nature enthusiast with a trail camera.