Katrin Jakobsen was never an ”ordinary” photographer, searching to be at the right place at the right time capturing extraordinary moments of life. Instead she has always investigated her own perceptions of reality. She has developed a creative eye, ”un regard” as the French would say. Katrin observes what is to be seen, she obviously notices what anyone would catch in a snapshot. But inside her eye another process sets off: she visualises to herself how this outer reality could be transplanted into a unique photographic image. Picture editing, studio work and media experiments have always been essential to Katrin’s work. In her ethics these are not methods that falsify the visual truth – her editing is on the contrary part of a search for more complex ways of defining and understanding reality.
It started rather innocently with her hand colouring of black and white photos, which gave her pictures a slightly surrealistic touch. For a number of years she has also been commissioned to create genre pictures for Swedish media. They often involve her family and friends, staged in dramatic scenes on subjects such as domestic violence, romantic love, traditional family rituals and so on.
Katrin Jakobsen is interested in the structure of the material on which her images are printed. Her exhibition series of brides (“Den Vackraste Dagen” , 20001) introduced the cotton kitchen cloth, a textile which has for centuries been associated with women’s domestic work. On these rough pieces of cotton Katrin printed almost impressionist images (with a hint of Degas’ ballet motifs) of young brides preparing for their happiest day. She continues developing other series on cloth, such as women undressing themselves (“ta av dig kläderna”, 2002/2004), angels (“C’est toi mon  ange?”, 2005/2006) and naked couples (“Love“, still ongoing project). The rawness of the material and the visible trace of silver print on the surface give a direct, physical impact of the photographic image and counteract any sense of glossy romance.
In her wonderful book series (Hunderbart, Kattblues and Babybabbel, all in Swedish), Katrin delights in the computerized image. With sometimes absurd motifs of dogs, cats and babies in remarkable situations she transgresses visual borders and imagines funny thoughts or comments from the protagonists. I believe she was always secretly fascinated by the not so high art magazines of photo-comics, which she has adopted into a poetic and humoristic style of her own.
Katrin’s most recent project, alles wird gut, has therefore a strong connection with her constant technical research and questioning of the power of images. She has reached a point in life where she knows that she can create virtually any picture, imaginary as well as totally realistic. But she no longer wants to stand outside the world with her camera. With alles wird gut she wants to explore whether her puppets, pictures and exhibitions could actually interfere and make a difference. Katrin is anything but an irresponsible paparazza. To her, pictures are strongly related to personal ethics and to her views on how we can make our world a more decent place to live in. She will not appreciate art lovers who flatter her about the technical skill with the puppets and sets (which, incidentally, are quite remarkable!). Her aim with this mixed media project is to stir up our feelings and thoughts so that we actually sense the crimes committed against children and start reacting. Not for Katrin’s sake. For the sake of our fellow humans.
Theresa Benér, Arts Editor, Sweden
Latest exibitions
2005 - Paris –   Espace Terapi:  C’est toi mon ange?
2006 - Peking -  groupshow Tang Art Center :  Yang Jiechang  jumps higher
2006 - Paris - 6, Mandel C’est toi mon ange? + ”Froid”
2006 - International Ink Painting Biennial , Shenzhen Fine Art Institute:  sweet-sour
2008 - Malmö, Galleri Rönnquist , groupshow: alles wird gut
2009 - Hamburg, Phönix Art Center, Sammlung Falckenberg
2010 - Karlsruhe, ZKM
2010 - Antwerpen, Villanella
2011 - Paris, Fait et Cause
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