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I found myself at the Landesmuseum in Linz on Tuesday, and since it was the middle of the day, the museum was empty. It was rather surreal to walk around completely alone in the large, open spaces. It was as if the exhibit was created just for me.

Mette Tronvoll, a Norwegian photographer, studied in New York and now lives in Oslo. Her exhibit at the Landesmusem was a treat.

Portraits are the cornerstone of Tronvoll’s artistic practice it seems, portraying friends and acquaintances, or people from different groups or cultures. The portraits are usually produced in a series that reveal tensions between individuals or types, and what I realized was that they speak loudly about similarities and differences.

In the series Couples, Tronvoll portrays friends with their partners. The way the couples position themselves, their individual expressions dominate the mood in each picture. The almost life-size format brought me close to each subject.

Tronvoll has also traveled extensively, and I loved the portraits and people from various rural parts of the world, such as Mongolia. I was particularly fascinated by the portraits of soldiers in the series Rena. The camouflage and the uniforms counteract individual characteristics and the only thing that makes it personal is the subject’s gaze.

I was inspired by the captured moments in the photographs. I hope that each of you are inspired by life’s treasures too.

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Yesterday, I spent a great day in the city of Linz. After walking around for most of day in very cold April weather (one of those days), I tagged along with my friend to the OK Kulturhaus in the city center for the opening of the six-day long film festival Crossing Europe.

Press accreditation and information room for guests

Most Austrians are familiar with the annual film festival Viennale. It draws a public from all around the world and goes on for one month. A smaller version of the Viennale, and perhaps a bit less known, is Crossing Europe.

(sponsored by Silhouette)

This year is the festival’s eighth year, but the genre stays the same, devoted to idiosyncratic, contemporary and socio-political auteur cinema from Europe.

Guests of the film industry (nearly 600 accredited festival participants) and the local cinema audience are able to choose from a program with 130 hand-picked films, documentaries and short films.

Linz views

The opening night was filled to the brim with the press, photographers and other guests, being welcomed to the program, the jury and the guest of honor, Austrian film producer gone Hollywood, Eric Pleskow. He is the former president of United Artists and Orion Pictures, and during the hight of his career the film One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest (1976) under the ownership of United Artists, won an Oscar.

Eric Pleskow (sitting) is greeted by a very (and I mean very) excited event organizer

Before the first screening of the festival, the co-organizer OK Kulturhaus invited guests to enjoy the traditional Austrian meal knödel and sauerkraut and a cold beer to splash it down.