The Mediterranean Museum Stockholm – in Monochrome & Color
About the Mediterranean Museum
The Mediterranean Museum (medelhavsmuseet) is a small and unassuming building in the heart of Stockholm. In fact, it’s one of the last major museums I had yet to go to. I finally paid a visit, and then a second and still a third. On this third visit, I took pictures with my new Huawei P9, perfect for the indoor and low lighting of the environs and display cases. The institution has several small exhibitions of the Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Cyprian and Syrian artifacts. The more impressive exhibition is of Egyptian relics, including some mummies. The building itself is a work of beauty and layout, having a main hall that originally was an open floor surrounded on all sides by an arched balcony. In the midst of this open floor, the museum has erected several jagged monolithic structures in dark green, which is at times both matte and reflective black.
In the past, I’ve focused on exhibition visitors in interaction with artistic works, or have focused exclusively on a museum in its own right. In these cases, the primary reason was that pictures of others’ art is, in and of itself, not a new creation on my part. The graffiti art of a mysterious building or wall gives character and life to a building, but that graffiti itself can never be my own artwork. There is always a greater element beyond. The graffiti wall, for example, was about the immutability of that wall, but which simultaneously underwent constant, crumbling change.
In the case of these Mediterranean artifacts, I am confronted not just with ancient art (which is someone else’s work), but with symbolism, with lighting, with an experience of the past. I am confronted by the stark contours of the exhibition monoliths in the midst of an antique building of Stockholm. The monuments we erect, the prayers we pray, the mummies we preserve and display (both real and imagined), and the buildings we house them in become a portrait of who we are. Combined, they make up a series of 20 images.
The series required a strong and small set of black and white imagery, in multiple angles. I’ve used Snapseed’s Noir filters to give them their consistent look, some slight grain, and a bit of wash. In two cases I have not cropped the images into squares, as these needed their full 4×3 format.
The exhibition itself had its own beautiful aspects, and these I’ve left in color. They are not as consistent in look, but are beautiful in their variety. I’ve placed emphasis in the editing process on lighting, again using Snapseed for my editing process. (You can see all of my work using Snapseed here.)