Cooper and Gofer

The SEEK Volumes

Cooper & Gorfer: Interruptions

The Sápmi Volume

(text in English and Swedish)
  1. Sarah Cooper
  2. Nina Gorfer
  • ISBN 9789163915611
  • 28.50 x 22.50 cm
  • Hardback without Jacket
  • 128pp
  • Illustrated in colour throughout
  • First published 2016
  • Distributed on behalf of Seek AG
  • See more books in theThe SEEK Volumes Series

The artist duo Cooper & Gorfer explore the contemporary context of broken timelines through a strong and confronting portrait series where women within the Sámi culture stand in focus

During a cold winter’s journey through Sápmi (aka Lapland), Cooper & Gorfer interviewed and collaborated with Sámi women of varied ages, staging and visualising their stories and circumstances. Instead of depicting their findings objectively, Cooper & Gorfer transform their impressions into picturesque hybrid images, illustrating the reflections and statements that emerge from their interviews. Layer upon layer of symbolism and narrative blur the realism of the photograph. The images are at times broken into parts and rearranged into an enigmatic, fragmented and exaggerated ensemble. Observable reality is strained through a complex psychological filter of dreams, moods, fears and wounds. Many of the portraits were photographed behind a sheet of glass, introducing a physical and permanent layer of disruption and interference. This layer remains dormant, mostly invisible, then suddenly reveals itself, hiding or shielding parts of the women portrayed.

The theme 'Interruptions' penetrates every aspect of this project. From the cultural and political interventions that have violated and shaped the Sámi culture, to the very personal ruptures of the women portrayed – women whose lives have been interrupted in one way or another. Here, a mother’s custody dispute for her little daughter, there, a young girl’s fight against cancer, or the memories of discrimination from an elderly Sámi woman. As a whole, the project seeks to interrelate these personal tremors with the political and cultural interruptions that still impact the Sámi identity today.

Cooper & Gorfer are the two artists Sarah Cooper (USA‚ 1974) and Nina Gorfer (Austria,1979). Their collaboration began in 2006. Cooper & Gorfer’s work holds distinct reference to art history, myths and cultural heritage. They live and work in Gothenburg and Berlin

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