Still Movement


Uncertain Landscapes

Findings & Endings

Travelling Light - Turku


Surfacing 2011



Book review by Gerry Badger / The Photobook: A History Volume III

Photography, by definition, deals with specifics, material objects that are visible. But frequently photographers want to address things that the camera cannot record directly, such as relationships. Katinka Goldberg's Surfacing is about her mother. So, apart from reproducing snapshots and her own photographs of them both, Goldberg resorts to symbolism to get her story across. The reader needs to work at the symbolism, for much of it probably has private meaning, but the synthesis of Goldberg's varied imagery is interesting enough for us to tease out our own meanings, perhaps relating to our own parental relationships.

As well as portraits, Goldberg presents landscapes and still lifes. Many of the landscapes, Swedish forests at night, have a biological feel, the branches like arteries and veins. This may connote biological links, or the tangled nature of familiar relationships, but Goldberg herself denies any specificity "How do you tell a story without a narrative?" she asks.

Clearly, she is exploring the relationship while making the work, without drawing conclusions. She compares its indeterminacy to "seeing under water" but dreamlike is perhaps a more apt analogy. We often dream about our loved ones, and hardly in a logical way. Surfacing may refer to the point where emerge from a dream and struggle to make sense of it. And that, as Sigmund Freud argued, requires carful analysis.

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