Konstmuseet i Norr

Konstmuseet i Norr
Kiruna, Sweden
2016 Aug 20th – Sep 30th 

During a cold winters’ travel to Sápmi in February 2016, Cooper & Gorfer drove through the northern most region of Sweden, interviewing and collaborating with Sámi women of varied ages, staging and visualising their stories and circumstances.

The images are at times broken into parts and rearranged into an enigmatic, fragmented, and exaggerated ensemble. Many portraits were photographed behind a sheet of glass, introducing a physical and permanent layer of disruption and interference. This layer remains dormant, mostly invisible, only to suddenly reveal 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 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, this project seeks to interrelate these personal tremors with the political and cultural interruptions that still have an impact on the Sámi identity today.

This body of work has been realised together with Konstmuseet i Norr.