Karina Nimmerfall
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[2016–2018] Indirect Interviews with Women

Photo-text series in 65 parts
50 x 37, 71 x 37 and 28 x 37 cm (each)

Departing from historical records of the interdisciplinary British social research project Mass Observation from 1937 (a movement that responded to the fact that the everyday life of "common people“ was not represented in the media nor in the political system of Great Britain at this time)—the series deals with a selection of interviews with women, and their relationship to housing, urban planning, work, and politics in 1941, when the air raids of the German armed forces destroyed large parts of London. The interviews are transcripts of the original interviews where subsequent edits, comments, sources, and notes are made visible through the use of the “track changes” function of MS Word—highlighting that they were not yet "accepted" by the editorial voice at work. Combined with recent photographs depicting the once investigated residential areas, the exploration of the history and its still visible effects on the urban geography of the city, opens the view to a variety of spaces: the current locations with their built structures; the archive with its collected and catalogued data, and the imaginary space of certain cultural, ideological and political ideas and visions.

"[...] Karina Nimmerfall has staged a complex disjuncture between two temporal moments: a series of interviews from 1941 and a series of photographs from the last few years. But her sense of temporality is more complex than this first suggests: the voices from 1941 don’t exist ‘in the past’ but in the continual present of the archive. The photographs are complex traces of multiple times: of the split second of registration; of the more sustained activity of selecting, editing, colour calibrating and so on. But the content of the photographs speak of multiple times: the multiple layers of building (Victoriana rubbing along with middling modernism); the patchworks of urban planning; the longevity of trees and the seasonal duration of leaves and flowers; the brief scudding of clouds and the longer durations of rust.

The time that this project investigates is always multiple and contradictory. It is the time of gentrification, the time of the building and partial dismantling of a Welfare State, the time of a newer crueller capitalism. It is the time of rising and falling social optimism, the time of changing distributions of resources. But it is also the time of contingency, of random happenings, of happenstance. [...] ” - Ben Highmore

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