- Artist: Vibeke Tandberg
- Creation date: 1993
- Object type: Photography installation
Vibeke Tandberg’s Bride I is a central work in postmodern conceptual photography in Norway. The genre problematizes staged events and self-observation, and Tandberg was one of the first Norwegian artists to use such methods in photography. Internationally, Cindy Sherman is the foremost exponent of the genre.
In Bride I Tandberg has let herself be photographed as a bride with ten different grooms. In each picture she wears a white wedding gown and holds a bridal bouquet. As is customary with actual weddings, Tandberg also announced her upcoming nuptials in the “Weddings” columns in the relevant local newspapers throughout Norway. As it was hard to immediately expose this art project, it transpired in two phases: the “stunt phase” and the “art phase”. Unlike Sherman’s staged photographs, Tandberg used a technique of infiltration that entails an almost fraudulent use of the spaces of everyday public life: a newspaper column is a space where no one expects to find art. As her art stunt gradually came to light, the entire spectrum of artistic structures that the work is based on was also exposed.
In terms of content, Tandberg’s work is similar to Sherman’s staged photography, as Tandberg also addresses stereotypical representations of female characters. As such, this is also a feministic project where Tandberg problematizes the role of women, indeed, the most mythical, exalted, and immaculate role of them all: the bride. Tandberg disrupts the perception of the bride as a symbol of monogamy. She exposes polygamy and at worst even betrayal, infidelity, and manipulation, under cover of the genre of wedding photography and its simplified depiction of truth.