Artist: Vibeke Tandberg
The work is a series of ten wedding photographs. The bride, who is the artist herself, is the same in all, while the grooms are ten different men. The series includes facsimiles of newspaper pages where the same images are reproduced as notices. The bride and groom are typically depicted for that time, the nineteen nineties, both in attire and in the genre of wedding photography.
In a local newspaper in Fredrikstad, in the south east of Norway, on August the 2nd, 1993, we read:
Marriage announcement: The marriage of Vibeke Tandberg and Tore Sjøvold is announced.
Two days later, a different local newspaper carries a marriage announcement for Vibeke Tandberg and Anders Lie. Throughout August, in a total of 23 local newspapers, Vibeke Tandberg appears in a virginal white wedding gown alongside 10 different men.
These 23 bridal photographs document “the most important day in a woman’s life” and Tandberg stages it again, and again, and again.
The entire art project can be interpreted as a social critique of the role that our society assigns to the bride. A single bride who marries on one occasion is a “proper” bride, but a bride who gets married several times is by definition not a bride.
Vibeke Tandberg’s Bride can also be seen as an exploration of the relationship between images, truth and illusion.
And today, we are experiencing a completely different technological revolution. We all have camera phones in our pockets. And the immediacy and reach of social media have changed all of our lives.
This is Andrea Kroknes, a senior curator at the National Museum.
We take selfies all the time, we have apps that can change our appearance, and we don’t see this as at all problematic. And despite this, we think of these images as true, or perhaps we think that although we’ve created an image that’s a lie, a manipulated image can nonetheless convey something that is true.
We have a much more relaxed attitude to the nature of photography.
So really these images are simply a starker way of asking the question – What is true, and what is false? – that artists continue to ask themselves today.