Encaustic held both formal and metaphorical possibilities for the artist, providing a painted surface that resisted visual penetration and suggesting an undifferentiated space, optically shallow but symbolically full.
Within these luminous fields, Friedberg embedded
photographic fragments. Her combination of the
encaustic ground and the photographic quotations -
unarticulated space and precise details - reflects her
desire to find "a physical entity that mirrors
thoughts, momentarily suspended." Many of the
photographs that appear in these works were culled
from books and magazines.
The photographs operate here as second-order signs.
Their original contexts have been several times
distanced, first through Friedberg's selection of the
photographs, then through their removal from mass
culture into a personal archive, and, finally, through
their retrieval from the archive into a painting.