Photography book review: After the Threshold, By Sandi Haber Fifield


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The Independent Culture

Photography's mimetic qualities are so powerful that we are sometimes persuaded that the medium can fully represent reality; that the photograph does not lie.But the US photographer Sandi Haber Fifield pushes against this idea.

Her pictures, writes Vicki Goldberg in Haber Fifield's third monograph, After the Threshold, "float on the colours of memory, mood, feeling, and suggestion. They combine the indistinctness of memory with the imperfections of photography to produce elusive, incomplete reconstructions of times, events, and sentiments at the far reaches of perception." Her work has a hazy, soft-focus quality that is as much to do with framing as it is lighting, exposure times or film stock. To look at her work is often akin to catching a glimpse of something out of the corner of your eye. Added to which, her pictures come grouped in threes and fours; as mini-narratives whose juxtapositions and visual rhymes describe the quality of memory or dreams as accurately as any photograph ever described reality.