An Androgynous Suffragette Portrait, Rediscovered / Hyperallergic

Marie Høeg, “Untitled” (1896-1905). Photographs printed from glass negatives. Courtesy of Preus Museum, Horten. (all photographs courtesy of Preus Museum unless otherwise noted)

Marie Høeg, “Untitled” (1896-1905). Photographs printed from glass negatives. Courtesy of Preus Museum, Horten. (all photographs courtesy of Preus Museum unless otherwise noted)

LOS ANGELES — Mind-altering conversations happen by chance, randomly, when we are least expecting them to occur. Liv Bugge and Sille Storihle’s roaming curatorial/publishing/salon-hosting platform FRANK slipped into a dialogue when Storihle discovered a gender-bending photograph by Norwegian suffragist Marie Høeg (1866–1949) in 2012 when working on a film project about Norwegian nationalism. Originally discovered in the 1980s in a barn, this photograph had gone unseen outside of Norway and Sweden until FRANK recontexualized it at the ONE Archives, bringing it into a contemporary art context.

Rather than leaving this rediscovered negative where it was and stopping the conversation short, Storihle and Bugge decided to stage a discussion between contemporary Swedish artist Klara Lidén’s portraits in the handicap bathroom toilet stall and a selection of portraits that Høeg made with her partner Bolette Berg. This became the exhibition entitled Marie Høeg Meets Klara Lidén, which is now on view at the University of Southern California’s ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. What shifts when pairing a series of slides by the artist Lidén, whose work was made with the knowledge that the public would see it, and Høeg’s portraits made and shown only privately — and perhaps intended to stay that way? I got in touch with Bugge and Storihle, who were in Oslo at the time, to learn more about their curatorial process.

Read the full story on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/119653/androgynous-suffragette-self-portrait-sparks-dialogue/