I Know Not These My Hands
The Argentina Series
2011 – 2017

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About the series

text by
Cooper & Gorfer

I Know Not These My Hands is about the ubiquitous traces a troubled history leaves on the human mind. Based on a comprehensive research travel to northwestern Argentina, we map memory and investigate questions of identity and displacement through chance encounters, interviews and photographic meetings with people from different levels within the Argentinian society and adjacent lands. Reflections on colonial wounds, forced migration, and more recent political turmoil surface throughout the project. 

Our portraits, seamlessly navigating between image and anecdote, resemble a patchwork collage. The details in the photographs connect either directly to the people portrayed or to our own memories and reflections from our encounters with them. The symbolism is often found in the clothes, where the garments we use in our works usually belong to the people portrayed.

In our work, we leave and return to the 2-dimensionality of the printed picture, breaking up the surface of the photograph. We address the layers of wounds and the issues of identity that arise, by physically destroying or mending some of the images in a continual photographic process. Several of the works from this series reflect upon the military dictatorships in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, which divided families and affected future generations. This is expressed amongst others in the portrait Natalia’s Letters, where Natalia's right arm has been replaced by a structure made out of her parents’ love letters, written in 1973-76 when her Chilean father was imprisoned in Uruguay. In Mending Vanesa, the focus lies on her hands. With the many threads entangling her, she means to mend what has been torn.

Venues below: Strandverkets Konsthall, 2018 / Fotografiska,2017 / Market Stockholm, 2017

Selected works