Sarah Cooper (USA) and Nina Gorfer (Austria) have been working together since 2006 and have similar backgrounds in architecture, art, design and photography. They have had several solo exhibitions and have already established a respected international reputation for themselves.
That’s how they describe their work: “Our work belongs to a narrative tradition within photography existing at the intersection of contemporary photography and 18th and 19th century painting. It is based on the personal and collective stories of place, where the pictures become condensed impressions showing the latent and ephemeral rather than the obvious. Place and story are the catalysts of our work – transforming narrative and memories into image. But the images that emerge out of the stories take on lives of their own. Like the portrait in Oscar Wilde’s novel “The Picture of Dorian Grey”, our images show more than just an objective view of the person portrayed. Instead, they also depict something we can not see – the past, the insubstantial and intangible, where the life and sentiment of the person photographed are woven together with our perception and experience of the moment. In the end, our pictures are the stories’ beautiful remains.”
For their book Cooper and Gorfer traveled to the rural areas of Kyrgyzstan to collect sagas and stories in conversations and interviews with local inhabitants.