Map 1969-2005, a poster glued on the wall, questions space in its relation to geography. On a red background, a free-hand drawing in white refers to the aesthetics of maps. Map 1969-2005 is not an accurate map of the United States, but one that combines mapping, overlaps and merges diverse elements: Oregon, Lake Superior, San Francisco, Cheyenne, Missouri, Zuni, Navajo, Texas, Shawee, Colorado, Piegan, Canada, Miami, etc. In the same space the map’s original design and representation is also shown, yet each requires a specific reading, and each reading is different. Map 1969-2005 is a critical image which by introducing geographical and identity shifts plays out exploration myths of the United States territory.
Many of the projects of Peter Friedl, in their heterogeneous medium and style, function as intersection points between countless lines of thought and reference, creating a vast didactic network where dialogues simultaneously merge with critical logic and narrative. Power, gender, language, history, identity, and territory mingle in the work of Friedl. His work radically shifts modernist rules of the making to methods conditioned by the social context. Thus, in the work "Playgrounds" (2004), a set of color slides of public playgrounds around the world, is thought of by the artist as "an aesthetic ethnography that examines the playground as the scene where 'small' subjects, children, make their first public experiments." The images convey more information than it seems at first glance. Friedl has underlined that "commentaries, speech and any kind of information in the background remain invisible and has simply become a component of the series."
Peter Friedl was born in 1960 in Austria where he lives and works today.