Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Work from The Office.
“Tunbjörk’s images observe the sterile interiors of nameless business offices that, though different in name, share a lexicon of commercial iconography: neon lights, industrial ventilation systems, thin metal framed windows, computers, filing cabinets, and—most pronouncedly—white and grey cubicles. The series remains firmly grounded in this commercial world with little or no reference to the external environment as though this universe exists as a totality unto itself. Like the artificiality of Thomas Demand’s assembled office photographs, the tone in Tunbjörk’s series reflects the constructed nature of the world it documents and hints at the immense workings of power occurring behind these thin office walls, as though the sterility of these environments serves to cloister the true workings of a powerful, arcane elite.
Yet, by dwelling on the marks and signifiers of the human presence, Tunbjörk’s work finds a new acme above the tepid implications of these artificial surroundings. These signs sometimes blatantly reveal themselves in individuals attempting to accommodate their environment to their needs: a person talking on the phone underneath his desk, a man stretching his shoeless feet, women spreading papers out across the floor. Other times they appear in a more covert manner through human absence: a tie sticking out of a closed locker door, barren rows of cubicles like graveyards, empty garbage cans, structures and objects that supposedly abet human action but also conceal human identity; in essence, Tunbjörk illustrates the conflict of the corporate world as it attempts to commercialize our humanity. Through this presentation of the insipid and hackneyed universality of the office place contrasted with the human attempt to project personality and accommodate individual needs Tunbjörk constructs a humorous yet melancholic statement about the human condition in the twenty first century.” – text via the Amador Gallery