Play! is the title of this photo series. But who gets to play? And with whom or what?
Clearly, the toy blocks look the most inviting. Yet, the objects we remember from our childhood
and we see our children turn into structural impossibilities were so much more handy. Tiny, but indestructible.
The moss bricks in the pictures fit the forms of their baby models, but are so big and heavy-looking,
the playing we experienced as fun and light as a child here becomes a serious physical effort.
At the same time, the fluffy moss surface makes them vulnerable, rather one of those valuable objects
we collect to set in a cabinet, to marvel at, to admire – but never play with in fear of breaking them.
So what do we play with? As photography is a visual art, what we get to play with here is our vision,
the culturally determined view we have on our surroundings. Look at the toy blocks first: their shape
reminds us of a domestic situation, the colorful bricks tossed on a rectangular carpet,
in a regularly shaped room, surrounded by right-angled cupboards and shelves, square window frames,
octagonal shaped coloring pencils. The domestic world is a geometric world.
When we learn to draw our home, we sketch a square topped with a triangle. Nature, we learn however,
does not know a right angle. Its otherness and authenticity derives from its irregular shapes,
crooked lines, unevenness. Nothing has a determined shaped or place, yet we perceive of it as perfect –
perfectly natural that is, the way it is supposed to be. In Sanne's photographs, however, the domestic
and the wild are fused into one picture. Our eyes complete the form of the toy bricks to the geometric
shapes they are supposed to have. But if we give our eyes some time to adjust,
we notice the crookedness of the bricks, the moss that came off here and there and grew so thick
in other places. When stacked, the fuzzy moss cover makes it hard to discern the individual bricks
turning them into an irregularly shaped unit that we could not describe with words.
Simultaneously, if we shift the view to the surroundings, the natural background suddenly is not
that crooked any more. Is not the tree trunk a tilted cylinder, more regularly shaped than
the moss toy block? Are not some of his branches just as straight as the lines we used to draw as branches?
Try to draw a line between geometric and natural place here! And most of all: have fun doing it.
written by Sophie Kulik