Katrin Korfmann’s work moves on the border of photography and film. What seems to be a natural cohesion, the engagement between time and space, to Korfmann becomes the subject of research. She shows still images in which time progresses in a literal way. She does so by merging plural images, taken at the same location, into a new image. This way she manoeuvers one of the specifics of film (movement in time) to the domain of photography.
‘Waiting for Julia’ shows people taken from above. They are scattered over a red surface, sometimes in groups, sometimes standing alone. It happens to be the première of the Berlinale, the international film festival in Berlin. To be more precise; it’s three premières. Actually, the final image consists of hundreds of images. In a former body of work, Korfmann always showed time chronologically and in separate image sequences. Now, by working on them in the computer, the different moments in time are merged onto the same red carpet.
Korfmann aims to capture the memory of a place in designing a literal image of time. The essence of both is the background, the flat surface to which she refers as ‘space zero’, on which she groups the different fragments of memory captured by the camera. This way, the originally two dimensional surface has become a new, more or less virtual space. Even though the works to be seen in the show Count for Nothing originated at totally different locations on the globe, people do not look that different when seen from above. Only at a closer look, different cultures and rituals will become visible; such as products being carried on the head in the photo from Luanda (Angola). Also the black dresses of the women in Teheran relate to the Academic robes worn by the graduate students of the University of Cambridge.
Photography theoretician Susan Sontag writes that the memory of e.g. scent and sound are rather transfigured into a still image than into a film*. This still image is not necessarily a literal representation of what actually was. It should be regarded more as a compact, composed image, in which the information of the memory is merged and stored. So then, the memory is not a literal image, but a subjective cumulation of available factors and momentary shots of a certain spot. The series shown in Count for Nothing should be regarded as a translation of this thought. By using all the different impressions of one location in the final result, Korfmann recreates her mind images. The viewer is presented with the summary of a place in birds eye view. This way, Korfmann ventures an objective essence from a subjective experience, that in turn can (re)place a memory in someone else’s mind.
*S. Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, 2002 New York