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"Tova Mozard" by Sarah Kim

Curiosity and unveiling narrative are two main characteristics of Tova Mozard’s art. Born in 1978 and graduated from Mälmö Art Academy, Mozard has a growing repertoire of photography and video pieces which has been shown in solo and group shows around Sweden and internationally. Many video works show her attraction to fringe figures in society. During her time spent in Los Angeles, CA, she sought out extraordinary characters who are drawn to the bright Hollywood lights and dreams of superstardom. She explores the relationship between the camera, the entertainer/narrator, and herself as the artist/documenter. Mozard’s presence behind the lens allows for ease and a welcoming exchange. Unseen, but still silently interacting, the viewer adopts Mozard’s attitude of comfortable understanding and admiration for the subject’s strength and creativity. The sense of rehearsal and storytelling is blurred, and a vulnerable truth and sincerity revealed. These deeply driven personas, whether it be a professional movie extra, lounge singer, or clown, are all portrayed with a compassionate touch that allows for recognition and a layered emotional connection. Despite the delusions of grandeur and depressing elements verging on tragedy these characters possess, Mozard projects an unusually uplifting and optimistic message. As individuals pursuing their loves and striving to fulfil their dreams they become positive and heroic symbols, transcending the narrow niches which their interests inhabit. Tova Mozard captures their ingenuity in the traditionally portrait-like setting of their home and daily environment. In her recent video work featured in Moderna Utställningen (The Moderna Exhibition) 2006 titled Just visiting this Planet, Mozard departs from her photographic composition style to a new generated moving visual image, reminiscent of computer screensaver designs. The voice-over narration given by sci-fi enthusiasts reverbs in synch with the colourful spinning shapes. Focusing on the playful designs and tracing the tempo of each verbal inflection, the audience is lulled into a meditative and existential state. The energy and movement of the moving images and sound provides a clear depiction of a spark or wave of ideas electrifying the mind. The thought-provoking commentaries charge the works with excitement and a sense of self-empowerment by means of escapism.