|| katrin koenning ||

One morning in 2005 I woke and, with a sudden immediacy, feared the fragility of things. What if tomorrow someone close died? In an ideal world, my family will always be there. But they won’t, at least not in a physical sense. I needed to hold on and photograph those transient moments of intimacy shared only between us, yet common to most. I needed to investigate what is ultimately the centre stage of my life, and to explore the complexities and challenges of family love. Was there such a thing as family identity? What constitutes belonging? That morning, Near was born – it is an ongoing portrait of my family.

Our story is common to the 21st Century – we're spread across four countries and three continents, torn apart and thrown together by migration. We are architects, engineers, social workers, therapists, dancers, animators, carpenters, students and dreamers. We are divorced, we are married, we are old and young and everything in between. Above all, we're lucky – we are close. Together, we've come through cancer and suicide. 
Celebrating the significance of that which is close, Near is inspired by a deep curiosity in what we often brush aside as banal or ordinary.

The work pays tribute to the idea that in the end, we belong to people, rather than places or things. We belong to the stories we compose, and hold close.

katrin koenning


||| katrin koenning - Thirteen:Twenty Lacuna |||

Thirteen:Twenty Lacuna

2009 - 2011
I have a never ending love affair with the hustle and happenings of the city centre, and an obsession over what happens when strangers are thrown together in close proximity.
Once, while venturing through the city in search for faces and light, I came across this place in the Melbourne CBD. Light reaches it directly for only 20 minutes a day, around lunchtime, when people rush away from work to get sandwiches and coffees.
During these few minutes, a transformation happens
– faces are illuminated, dust twirls through rays of
sun, cigarette smoke becomes an almost glistening silver- blue against dark buildings. You can hear snippets of conversation and laughter between friends, and sometimes the muffled tum-tum of an iPod as if
to draw attention to the lack of interaction between strangers. It's a 'mis-en-scene', a theatre stage on which people become my protagonists for an instant. 
Thirteen:Twenty Lacuna captures tiny moments of us
– strangers – passing each other by unnoticed. We stare ahead, buried in thought. There is a fragile beauty in our distant gazes - as if inside, we were hanging on to something out of reach to anyone else, sacred only to us.
The Girl in Red, what is her name, and what her story?