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I was one of 20 photographers invited by the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted (Norges Blindeforbund) to join an exhibition project that has so far been shown in Oslo, various European cities, and Tokyo. Never-before-seen paintings by Edvard Munch were shown side by side with photographs by Tom Sandberg and works by the other artists. We were tasked with visualizing and interpreting an ocular defect.

“Diabetes Retinopati” is inspired by the way that the brain compensates for blank spots in one’s vision by filling them with the content of the closest visual environment. Here I saw parallels with the retouching process used in digital photography postproduction. Ocular defects can often lead patients into difficult social situations and leave them feeling isolated. I used a glasshouse as a metaphor for this condition.

The final work approaches the problem from both the outside and the inside. The photographs deceive the viewer in many ways, creating a situation in which the viewer experiences a visual problem but remains unaware. Things that seem unreal at first turn out to be authentic, and vice versa.

August 5, 2009