Katrine Sundes´s work I C is an extensive series of photographic images carefully selected and sequentially presented as a slide show. The images are an abstraction, a term delineating to a method more than a style and movement. The abstraction is of our eyes abstraction of nature. The abstraction in photography proceeds in a reductive manner. The starting point is a complex situation, and by increasingly leaving out non-essential elements, moves on towards essential elements, to ‘pure’ knowledge. In this work, the centre of our eye.
Conseptually Sunde progress in an inductive manner. Her research is exploratory. She begins with an idea, in order to create a new complex of positions or typologies. We might say that the abstraction here transforms matter into something intellectual, while conceptually transforms something intellectual into matter.
The Eye is the organ of vision. The combination of pigmentation and pattern in the iris, makes each eye unique. This unique pattern in the human iris is formed by 10 months of age, and remains unchanged throughout one's lifetime. The probability of two irises producing the same random pattern is nearly impossible, and a distinctive iris pattern is not susceptible to theft, loss or compromise. When a human die, the pupil dilate completely and is no longer susceptible to light stimuli. Lack of life one sees in the eye. From historical times in the west, the eye has been viewed as the mirror of the soul. The eye revealed happiness, lies, sorrow etc., and while in traditional Chinese medicine the eye is used in diagnostics. The eye is the window of the heart.
One could also talk about the work in terms of microphotographs. With the microscopic vision and by focusing in on particular segments of a whole, it abstracts the objects to such an extent that they end up creating a very own world as seen in some of the images. The pictures they generate become autonomous images in their own right, the origins obscured in some of them.
Seeing such a large series of irises, and how they compare and contrast to each other, constitutes also as a form of structure-based images. Placing IC within New Topographic movement. With their pure form and pattern, each image is an object in itself. Any detail that might detract from the core theme is excluded, and distilled away. The work is made for comparisons of viewpoints. The eyes can be appreciated for their aesthetics, re-presented, and re-framed individually. However, it is the repetitive structure and how they relate to each other, that pure essence of the work.
The photograph can also be an expression of human ideas and symbols: a pictorial equivalent of abstract ideas, visions, hopes and dreams. «I C» as in «I see» and «Eye see» focuses on human relation and interaction. She poses a number of questions such as if we as individualists are able to see the other as just that, an individual. Do we see the other as is? Do we see them differently? Do we focus on only being seen ourselves? Are we like Narcissus, the beautiful Greek, who discovered his own refection and fell in love with it? Like fixated, not realizing it was merely an image, he became unable to withdraw his gaze and leave his reflection. He died staring at his own mirage.
Katrine Sunde combines photographic techniques – convincingly combined creativity and technical expertise to an impressive compositional degree. She has clear references to photographic history just as much as she strive to transcend it and move forward. The power of the work is the stark elegance of the images and the fascinating effect of repetition. IC does not necessarily demand explanations and instructions for us to perceive and comprehend them properly, but rather seek a direct, immediate and convincing pictorial effect. IC is simply accessible. The work draws an intuitive, spontaneous and enthusiastic response.