LAZNIA 1 2010 - Annette Merrild THE ROOM
Opening of the exhibition 15.01.2010, 6 p.m
Curator at Laznia CCA: Anna Szynwelska
In her photo project The Room Project the Danish photographer Annette Merrild (b. 1972) takes as her starting point the experience of being a stranger - a state she can draw on from being a student at the Art Academy in Hamburg. Inspired by the question of whether her glimpse of a small slice of German life would change her look at the German people in general she began taking pictures of her neighbours' living rooms. 
On several occasions in the years 2001-2005 – and in a number of different countries and cities -Annette Merrild photographed living rooms in apartment buildings occupied by members of the middle class. The criteria for choosing the living rooms was based on the size and dimension of the rooms in the first photographs from Hamburg; thus all photographs are square and lead the onlooker's eyes through the rooms and out of the windows in the end wall. In this way the photographs from Hamburg, New York, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Warsaw, Manchester, Tallinn, Istanbul and Lyon look very much like one another on a formal level. In spite of the monotony of the rooms and the artist's focus on similar groups of occupants the photos function as a template that highlights cultural differences as well as the residents' individual tastes in customizing their homes. 
Since the photographs are presented without any information about the individual residents other than the city in which they live, the visitors are called upon to form their own image of the residents based on their own associations. The nuances in the photographs plus the little shifts in relation to recognizable and familiar objects awaken the visitor's desire to define the rooms in relation to social status, culture and nationality. In this way the works call upon reflections about whether the onlooker's own cultural background influences the way in which we look at what is foreign to us. 
Annette Merrild (born 1972) – Danish artist living and working in Hamburg, Germany and Barcelona, Spain. In 2004 she graduated as Honor Student from Hochschule für Bildende Kunste (Academy of Fine Arts) in Hamburg. She also studied woodcarving at Akamba Handcraft Industry in Mombasa and classical painting at School of Visual Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark. She presented her works in solo exhibitions in Turkey, Denmark, Estonia, Germany and Poland. 
More information about the artist:
The exhibition coorganised by The Danish Cultural Institute and Statens Kunstrad.
Municipal Institution of Culture