Dana Sederowsky’s Black Knot images depict a person (herself) in a black body suit in front of a black background. The studio photographs are largely made up of blacks and greys containing almost no contrast. Her body position is contorted and twisted so that, at a glance, it appears to be a jumbled tangle of an unknown black substance. There are eight photographs in the series, and in each one her body is in a different position. In the exhibit at Fotografiska in Stockholm the lights were dimmed so that the eye could barely focus on the image. It was very difficult to make out what was on the prints. In the same room played a 15 minute video on loop entitled Head. Sederowsky develops these video monologues along with her photography. In this particular video the subject (herself) is staring directly at the viewer while balancing a large rock atop her head. A strange yet powerful humming sound fills the empty space and adds to the intensity of both the video and the Black Knot series. Sederowsky created the photographs after a few years of personal difficulties and struggles. The tangled figures represent the idea of enduring life even when it collapses around you.
I felt a strong relation to this series even before I read the background information. I walked into the room without any knowledge of the artist. I had previously seen Sederowsky’s Doctor Dana series in the other room, but I did not know the two exhibits were by the same photographer. Thus, the connection I felt was solely based on the images themselves and the emotional response I had to them. I think if an artist can create a significant connection to the viewer with their art based only on image, they have reached their goal. It is when an
explanation is necessary that a piece loses its impact and in turn loses my interest. However, after reading about the how and why she created these images, I am even more drawn to them. I can relate on so many levels. The experience Sederowsky created with the installation like atmosphere displaying the photographs was so bold and direct that I felt I knew exactly what she was trying to communicate. This is an extraordinary example of a successful art exhibition.