"It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed'
Quote from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Maria Friberg’s photograph ‘Still Lives 3, 2013’ is a pun on the idea of creating a still life of objects and using a ‘living’ person. The stillness of the image is emphasised through the obvious lack of movement from the sleeping human in silk pyjamas, which makes the viewer feel a sense of calm, silence and peace often associated with reading. Books have ‘lives’ of their own and offer an escape from human mundane existence, and in this image the viewer can feel the freedom from responsibilities in the way the main subject is so ‘at home’ and relaxed among the tomes. Furthermore, due to the way the books fit around the man, it looks like he is meant to be there, a natural part of the scene, and not out of place amongst the pile of books thus emphasising the crossover of animate and inanimate ‘lives.’ Finally, the different coloured tones of the books, and the black background behind the gaps in the books describe an ancient history, emphasising how the arts and literature have been important to humankind for centuries.