Text – Graduate show.












Back to main





”There is no disgrace in looking." Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons, 1911

In this phrase is taken from Gertrude Stein´s novel Tender buttons. Within its words, I find a mechanism that is an intricate part of my own practice, a struggle to justify individual interpretation without being held back by the way we are taught to read things. This struggle happens everyday on a basic level in different social contexts. It happens on the level of the self. A fear and/or recognition of the lack certain qualities in the Self combined with the struggle to hold on to one’s strength and individuality is a paradoxical but interesting field where the Other can become a threat. My work investigates this unstable place in relation to power and control on the level of the psyche and how it unfolds in one’s looking, seeing and being seen.

“They have eyes that they might not see.” Jaques Lacan, The four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis, Book XI

In this quotation it is clear that a gaze from outside the subject is the focal point.
And this is where I like to locate my approach to photography. The visibility in front of something unpleasantly real or maybe imagined is a field of the subconscious that I simply try to catch with the camera. Recorded as such in the process, object and time, they become collectables.

Besides referring to the complex struggles around the Self/Other described above, the relation of subject to object can also be seen as a field of association, associations on the very personal level.  Associations can bring “inner” and maybe “forbidden” thoughts to the surface. They work as some sort of playground where knowledge, individual experience and  memories, gone long lost, interact and intervene.

It is on the site of the association where I locate myself with my photographs. The mechanism of how the mind plays and is capable of finding ways of thinking, in viewing pictures of such kind is what I try to approach in my work. I cannot tell the viewer what to see. I only can make an example of a reality, nothing more nothing less, and maybe wake something hidden in the (personal or collective) subconscious.

I find it very intriguing to explore this mechanism of the mind and the variety of interpretations that all are individual and complex, true in ones own eyes and maybe others.

"I stand mute in front of the fact; how one can lie just by giving one self right." Jean Paul Sartre, Nausea 1938

Nature’s role in my work lands on the metaphorical field of time.
I simply enjoy using it to have a reminder of time and its way of passing by.
I like thinking about time in relation to a direction, without a certain goal, without a certain purpose or end.


Annika Behm 2007