Tracy Lindner Gander in collaboration with Katherine Bull
    7 - 31 August 2020

    The images are the result of both the model and the photographer's response to a specific environment. The locations are significant in that they are largely uninhabited, or 'lost', public spaces, yet are known to us all - an oasis alongside the highway, a deserted city, a shadowy forest.

    What is most striking about these images is the use of a single model, resulting in a familiar and repetitive subject. This singular subject forces the viewer to question some of the foundations of portraiture, especially in relation to photography. Photography has the dual ability to:

      "trace something real- the event in front of the camera- but also to express the photographer's pre-conceived ideas and sensibility".1

    The intention is to foreground photography's ability to carry both real and fictional elements. Exploration of the slippage between the traditional genres of photography (reportage, portraiture, fashion) force one to engage with our collective fantasies and contemporary life.

    What is also apparent in this work is the almost surreal disjunction between the figure and the environment.

    The images demand questions as to the intent of the model within the environment, why she appears almost awkward, out-of-place. Why wouldn't it be normal for a woman in her nightie carrying her pink-panther toy to be walking down a deserted highway at 5.30am? Would we look twice if the model were a street-cleaner standing at the edge of the highway at dawn?

    Avedon describes portraiture as performance; as implying "some kind of artifice which conceals the truth behind the sitter". He continues:

      "But that's not it at all.
      The point is that you can't get at the thing itself, the real nature of the sitter, by stripping away the surface. The surface is all you've got. You can only get beyond the surface by working with the surface. All that you can do is to manipulate the surface - gesture, costume, expression...". 2

    Is our subject then projecting varying 'personas' of her personality, the 'personas' being aspects of her personality that are not necessarily revealed in her everyday existence, the unusual activity and setting acting as encouragement for self- expression? Does the personality captured by the camera fit in with others' expectations of the model? Are the collaborators 'manipulating the surface', in Avedon's sense, by employing over-the-top wardrobe, unfamiliar location, and gesture, to reach the 'real nature of the sitter'? Or is it all an act, is she merely performing for the camera, for no other reason than to create an arresting image?

    The awkward pose, moment & choice of model all heighten this sense of displacement, and cause one to pay attention to these details, heightening their sense of mystery.

    1. Juergen Teller in C. Cotton, Imperfect Beauty: The making of contemporary fashion photographs, V&A; Publications, 2000. p123
    2. Richard Avedon, Grand Street, 7:1 (Autumn, 1987), p55

    Tracy Lindner Gander in collaboration with Katherine Bull at João Ferreira, Paul Edmunds, ArtThrob Issue No. 60, August 2002

    Art South Africa
    Tracy Lindner Gander in collaboration with Katherine Bull, João Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town, Sean O'Toole, Art South Africa, Vol01 Issue01 Spring 2002, p55

    Flash Art
    Aperto South Africa, Thomas Boutoux, FlashArt, Issue 225 July - September 2002

    Die Beeld
    Gespartel sinvol: Tracy Lindner Gander's Flounce, Wilhelm van Rensburg, Die Beeld, 14 August 2020


    Kloof Neck, Camps Bay, 2002, Colour photographs mounted on wood, 140 X 49.5cm
    Hartleyvale (detail), 2001, Colour photographs mounted on wood, 140 X 49.5cm
    Observatory I: Wrench Rd Subway, 2002, Colour photographs mounted on wood, 140 X 49.5cm
    Liesbeek Parkway, 2001, Colour photographs mounted on wood, 140 X 49.5cm
    Pinelands (detail), 2002, Colour photographs mounted on wood, 140 X 49.5cm
    Installation views, João Ferreira Gallery, 2002