First published in the Norwegian photography magazine Fotografi March 2020 issue
All photographs courtesy of the artist.
Linn Pedersen's book Sedimentality (2015) is a visual and emotional journey through different landscapes. And it is best enjoyed in physical format.
The title of the book is self-composed and consists of two words; sediment and sentimentality. Sediment deals with the earth's memory as seen through materials. For millions of years the earth has accumulated layers of organic matter, rock and minerals. Chemical reactions in the evolution of the earth create colours, create layers and form new landscapes. In a way, one can say that it is through the colors of the materials that one sees the memory of the earth.
The sentimentality lies in Pedersen's gaze and how her emotions are reflected through the moods she creates in her images. By looking closely at some of the motives and expanding the frame of what is included, she highlights the sculptural nature of the photographs and plays with the perspective of what’s visible to the audience.
The different perspectives create both an overview and insight into the materialistic, tactile and colourful details of the images. Throughout the book constructed landscapes of spray-painted raw clay in strong colours emerges, photographed scattered or carefully placed over the floor.
The close-up sections are so detailed that, for a while, it’s not certain which images are real landscapes and which ones are constructed. This makes the reader intuitively dig deeper into the graphic expression in order to pick the subject apart. Because the question is – what are we really looking at? The fact that she also chooses to sequence the images with black and white photographs of people and close-ups of bodily shapes, is an unexpected choice and triggers the curiosity of where she will lead the reader further. It’s a fascinating, visual narrative she’s constructing. And an exciting path for the reader to follow.
Sigurd Tenningen has written a text in the book that explores the context of images through references to literature. It is a good text that provides contextual suggestions for the photographs, but it does not feel necessary to read it in order to have a solid experience of the images. They stand well on their own through the different moods Pedersen creates. That is why it’s a good choice the text is placed at the very end. It creates space for the reader to experience the work through their own references and imagination, before other perspectives are presented.
Linn Pedersen works primarily with analog medium format, cyanotypes and sculpture. The book is the result of two solo exhibitions where sculpture was particularly important, and it looks like she is building on the same concept through the design of this book.
The tactile, colorful and evocative photographs take on a new dimension through the book's format. The front page with stacked text gives associations to the earth's layer or memory. So does the three different types of paper in the book, which have textured surfaces of varying degrees. Two of them have colors in earth tones that reoccur in the photographs. It creates a nice entirety and a great reading experience of the book as an art object in itself. Pedersen, with designer Ole Martin Lund Bø, has really taken advantage of the book and its unique qualities as a medium of communication.
172 pages 18 cm x 21.5 cm Lord Jim Publishing (2015)
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