Luciana above mother, 2014
Cooper & Gorfer are an artist duo comprising of Sarah Cooper (b. 1974) and Nina Gorfer (b. 1979). Although photography is the primary medium of their work, the artists avoid realistic interpretation by developing intricate photographic collages which address the complexities of life from a female perspective.
Cooper & Gorfer ask their sitters to wear clothing which has a history of meaning within their family, eliciting the symbolism of clothes as a carrier of heritage and culture. They then add details to the photographs which either connect directly to the women portrayed, or to Cooper & Gorfer’s recollections of them. This results in deeply personal, yet ethereal portraits of women, at times evoking the aesthetic qualities of a Pre-Raphaellite painting.
Luciana above mother forms part of a series from Cooper & Gorfer’s travels to northwest Argentina, I Know Not These My Hands. The series seeks to address the complex political turmoil of the region, both past and present, and the traces it leaves on our cultural identities. In this work, the daughter ventures away from the mother in a dress too long for her. She has the freedom to make her own journey as an individual, but her mother and family history are the roots from which she will grow.
‘We work a lot with collage, with assembling and reassembling and with combining different techniques, like stitching, scratching, drawing in and onto the image to express the multi-layered and dynamic thing we call life‘ – Cooper & Gorfer
Image via coopergorfer.com