Cooper & Gorfer
In 2005, while studying at the University of Gothenburg’s School of Design and Crafts, two international students, Sarah Cooper (USA, 1974) and Nina Gorfer (Austria,1979), joined forces, in what was intended as a one-off project.
Eight years on, this collaboration is still firmly entrenched in the Swedish city.Having both previously worked in big cities, New York and Vienna, they quickly discovered Gothenburg’s artistic community and youthfulness offered far greater support and openness for their creativity to blossom. Here they could challenge boundaries and naively “break the rules” without the distraction of what was considered “in fashion” at the time, which in turn led them to great success.
The two photographers have quite different backgrounds from which to draw inspiration, Nina with architecture and graphic design, Sarah tutored in classic photography and music production.
Their first project took them on a journey to Iceland, using photography as the primary medium. A book (SEEK Volume 1: Iceland) resulted after much research, interviews and storytelling. An exhibition soon followed. The pair so enjoyed their teamwork, that the choice to continue and cultivate the partnership came naturally.
Cooper & Gorfer work in the borderland between photography and classical painting, using post-production techniques such as collage making, drawing and the use of Photoshop to produce their melancholic creations. Their photographic installations, expertly and carefully choreographed, move fluidly between reality and imagination, allowing viewers their own individual interpretations. Travelling extensively, they document people and cultures in a personal narrative style, weaving together layers of fact and fiction, with the resultant imagery resembling that of eighteenth and nineteenth century paintings.
C&G have numerous international exhibitions to their credit and will be gracing Nordic Light with selected works from “My Quiet of Gold”, which portrays sagas and tales of their encounters with the inhabitants of rural Krygyzstan; “Latent Now” from Qatar and also “Places in Between”. They will be giving a lecture on these works, revealing what inspires them, and giving those present an insight into their process – from travel to finished image.
Currently the duo are working on The Weather Diaries, a commissioned work about fashion designers and artists from Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, as well as a fourth book in the SEEK series - this time in Argentina.