Cooper & Gorfer
Yohana Holding Scissors, 2018
Photography and mixed media
Archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth
Limited edition art print
Price on request; email@example.com
Courtesy of the artists
The multi-layered portraits created by artist duo Cooper & Gorfer are a visual expression of the many different storylines that form us.
American Sarah Cooper and Austrian Nina Gorfer work closely with their subjects to understand their stories, memories, anxieties and hopes. The portraits they create - an extended, supplemented, deconstructed and layered photo collage – are a subjective interpretation of their sitters’ lives and stories as well as their sociocultural and political environment: “It’s a dance between what she reflects to the outside world…and the building blocks that shape her.”
This image is from their UTOPIA series - the perfect world and the impossible dream. The subjects are young women living in the artists’ adopted home town of Gothenburg and all have a migration background - either arriving in Sweden with the migration wave starting 2015 or are second generation Swedish citizens of immigrant parents.
Photographed with a small number of personal possessions, they’re entangled in a half-finished world of cardboard walls, doorways and painted gardens, which they’re either constructing or tearing down. Yohana came to Gothenburg having fled Eritrea; she travelled the migration route from Africa to Europe, alone.
Comprehending the backstory, the interesting and unusual works of Cooper & Gorfer take on much greater significance.
For more information coopergorfer.com
Cooper & Gorfer have a solo exhibition at FOTOGRAFISKA New York, 27th March-7th June, 2020
Hedge, issue 57, pp68-73, February 2020