MARTINA HOOGLAND IVANOW, PHOTOTGRAPHER (2004)
By Fanny Stenberg
-I seek towards the outskirts, both external and geographical borders and the ones found within myself. My trips to unknown places are a way of reaching my own psychological borders and my vulnerability.
When Martina Hoogland Ivanow portrays her borderlands, it is primarily about letting us see the magical formation in the frightening and sorrowful. She dares us to see the beauty in the dull and the everyday as well as the dark and dangerous.
Central to her work is what she terms ” phenomenon”. The miracles of life, that evolves around us in a smaller or larger scales; a healing body, a tender meeting, the movement of the wind.
She catches and attends them. A magic realism runs like red thread throughout her work. The phenomenon, the mysteries of life, may also be brought forward and recreated. In the studio Hoogland Ivanow retells her memories through abstract staging. She uses light, colored films and processed surfaces to produce worlds of emotionally charged affinities.
-To me abstract image communicates the most real part of an emotion. Therefore even my documentary work contains a a portion of abstract metaphors. I attend the world around me from within. I ask question and try to find a kind of restful position in my search for answers. My picture are seldom unequivocal. The exposure I myself experience in my travels are echoed in the pictures and give focus to what I portray. Each time I travel to a new place I take on an internal journey.
Through a psychological map Martina Hoogland Ivanow navigates and the place she gets attached to are symbolic of a human condition. She searches to a place where the mountain no longer reaches, where the sea erupts and occupies the land, where the chill stifles activity, where pollution imposes new living conditions. Points on the fringe.
She herself draws the parallel with the 15th century world of endings, where the ships risk falling over the edge, into the unknown. There faiths, cultural distinctions and histories becomes the objects o her work. These are the places which people have deported its most exposed members and where nature reveals itself in her most extreme shape. Human actions and the rules of nature in harmony and collision. The Mongolian speedway garments are like occult artifacts. Fast shadows in eternal stillness. Portraits that contain the ambiguous; the happiness in sadness, the strength in the broken, beauty in the decayed. Martina Hoogland Ivanow succeeds in mediating universally human in a perpetual presence of light and darkness. She does not refrain from ambiguity and grazes us through mirroring a world where tranquillity can be found in sadness/melancholy. She wants to allow ourselves to use the same tenderness that she does when she pictures reality, trust the boarder lands; both the the externaL and the internal.
Martina Hoogland Ivanow was born in 1973 in Sweden, she is of both Finnish and Russian descent. Since her education at Parsons School of Design in New York she has been working as a professional photographer and has accumulated a qualitative list of assignment. She has lived in Paris, New York and London but, has been resident in Stockholm since November 2001. Since the start of her career she has with certain determination balanced and combined her commercial activities with her artistic and personal development. Her integrity as an artist has been key to the larger commercial assignments.