A Curious and Disarming Travel Journal

The Photo Blog
Aug. 22 2013 9:27 AM

A Curious and Disarming Travel Journal

Warning: this post contains nudity.

Update: This post reflects new information provided by Wolberger.

Central Park, New York
Central Park, New York, NY

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Ofer Wolberger’s series “Life With Maggie” is an abstract travel journal where the destinations are clear but everything else is slightly disarming.

Advertisement

The photographs are the type of imagery that might at first make you jealous if it were to appear on your Facebook feed: photos of friends who travel around the world posing in front of landmarks and places of leisure.

You might also find yourself asking about this Maggie character whose unique fashion sense is eclipsed only by her unique face.

So is she from this era? Or even from this world? And is Wolberger trying to say something about identity, specifically in an era where virtual online identities are created through social media landscapes?

James Dean's Last Stop, Lost Hills, CA
James Dean's Last Stop, Lost Hills, CA

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Restaurant Schiller, Freiburg, Germany
Restaurant Schiller, Freiburg, Germany

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Venice Beach, Calif.
Venice Beach, CA

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

“I don't really have an opinion about people's online identities, but I do think in general that we tend to present multiple versions of ourselves to the world at large and particularly online,” Wolberger wrote via email. “Maggie's identity is fixed in a way because her face is always the same, but for me her expression and personality are always shifting due to the light, her gesture, what she's wearing, and where she's situated.”

“Life With Maggie” is also a love story. “Maggie” is French and was dating Wolberger, who was living in New York. The two would meet for two weeks or a month at a time,  traveling mostly around the United States, France, and Germany. “In that way, it’s a very personal body of work and one that reflects our experience of getting to know each other,” Wolberger said.

They didn’t have a specific agenda apart from looking for tourist destinations, and they chose them “by instinct and the journey at hand at the time; one place led to another,” Wolberger said. “The ‘Life With Maggie’ locations are cliché or postcard-like, in that Maggie gives me a reason or a license to photograph places that I would otherwise avoid.”

Jimmy's Place, Natchez, Miss.
Jimmy's Place, Natchez, MS

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Chateau D'Oiron, France
Chateau D'Oiron, France

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

“When we were confronted with an enticing location, we just stopped everything and went to work,” Wolberger said. “The trunk was always full of clothing, most of it picked up along the journey. The whole experience was pretty spontaneous, although once the shooting started, things would slow down because of the large format 4X5 film camera I was using and the need to direct the action.”

The idea of slowing down and working without an agenda is something Wolberger takes very seriously. “My goal once I start a project is to not think too much into every little thing. I try to work instinctually as much as possible,” he said. “In that sense the final images never match the initial goals, as I always hope to be surprised by what I shoot. In this age of digital photography where very little is left to chance, it was exciting to be shooting large-format film and to not know what I had until the film was developed a few days or sometimes weeks later.”

Wolberger said that although he at one point thought the project would go on forever, it has been finished for a while now. He and Maggie are now married and have gone on to work on another project.

Wolberger’s work can also be seen on his website horsesthink.com.

Hotel Patton, Avranches, France
Hotel Patton, Avranches, France

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Little Friends, Tours, France
Little Friends, Tours, France

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandie, France
American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandie, France

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Golgotha Fun Park, Cave City, KY
Golgotha Fun Park, Cave City, KY

Ofer Wolberger/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Science

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

We Could Fix Climate Change for Free. Now There’s Just One Thing Holding Us Back.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 5:56 PM Watch Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle, Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, and More on New YouTube Channel
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 7:23 PM MIT Researchers Are Using Smartphones to Interact With Other Screens
  Health & Science
Jurisprudence
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?