Still from Cross of Iron (2001)
Edition of 100
25 x 20cm (10 x 8 in)
Signed, dated and numbered by the artist.
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Notably ambiguous - boy or girl, staged or passively observed - Collier Schorr determinedly fails to play it straight. 'Still from Cross of Iron', taken from a series of photographs of new recruits in the Swedish military, is typically open ended. 'My plan was to document conscripts,' says Schorr, 'particularly during their downtime, waiting for a war that never comes'. Wary of her intent, the Swedish authorities refused her access, so Schorr to replayed likely scenarios using young nephews of a friend. Scale here too plays a part. 'Still from Cross of Iron' is small, the image just 7 inches square. Accustomed as we are to the full blown, blown-up colour photograph, Schorr introduces a sense of intimacy to this quietly captured moment of neo-romantic volkish reverie.
Collier Schorr's ambiguous, beautiful photographs of adolescents on the verge of adulthood belie hidden political themes. Seductive from the outset, her tender and muted images quietly capture attention and invite a closer look. This provoked scrutiny smoothly draws out questions about how identity is performed and framed, and explores the liminal space separating artifice from documentation, reality from imagination.