Erna in the permanent collection of Fotografiska

The evocative video piece Erna by Swedish artist Maria Friberg is the latest acquisition to Fotografiska’s permanent collection of photography and video art. The video piece is a tribute to Erna Hasselblad, founder of the Hasselblad Foundation, and was created by Friberg on commission from Hasselblad Center.

In the beginning of the piece, two high-heeled shoes are seen lying on a beach, from which footprints lead through the black sand straight out into the ocean. Of the shoes’ owner we are left with no clues and the absence of presence evoke thoughts of what might have happened seconds before we are let into the piece. Our thoughts oscillate between the temptation to lift our gaze towards the ocean and find the woman, and the fear of possibly witnessing a conscious wandering into eternity.

By the force of the waves, the shoes alternately tumble around in the water and lays to rest, before finally being swallowed completely and carried into the water, as in an attempt to follow their owner. Of Erna herself there is no mention, Friberg instead allow the piece to be open to our interpretations of longing, loss, and the enticement to follow into the infinite depths of the ocean.