Sanne Kabalt

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 Circulating photograph, text 2007 | 2018

Circulating photograph, text
2007 | 2018


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I rediscovered the photograph of my father sleeping on the couch. It is a strong image, not only for me, and I wanted to share it somehow, despite feeling protective of it. I wrote about it, and for a while believed that I could show the text in an exhibition while keeping the image for myself. But that did not sit right with me. I was denying the strength of the photograph, hiding it. Eventually I had a frame made for it, the frame being larger than the print, and we attached the photograph to the frame with only one invisible thread on its back. Consequently, the photograph can move in its frame. In the exhibition the photograph had no fixed place. I asked three people to take care of it during the exhibition and they circulated it, found places for it, showed it to people, and sometimes handed it to them. The texts were also in the exhibition, but in a different place than the image. Every viewer has had a different experience of the work. Some did not see the photograph. Some saw it standing against a wall somewhere, and noticed later that it was there no more. Some saw it being carried around. Some spent some time holding it and caring for it. Some saw the photograph first and then encountered the text. Some read the text first and then encountered the photograph. The work gained dissolving margins. The margins of the print in the frame kept shifting. The whole work kept dissolving and reappearing. I attempted to bring the photograph to life, the closest I can come to bringing my father to life.

This work was made during my studies at the Dutch Art Institute, in a study group led by Ruth Noack, Tina Gverovic and María Berríos. It was first presented during the group exhibition 'Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life' at Yellow Brick in Athens, Greece.