In a series of richly-imagined portraits, the artistic duo Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer explore the idea of Utopia in the age of the new diaspora. Young women who have been forced to uproot their lives are photographed like goddesses inside lustrous and surrealist-inspired sets. These vivid portraits are a judicious and of-the-moment examination of our historical memory and possibility. Between These Folded Walls, Utopia is on view at Fotografiska New York.

In their art, Cooper and Gorfer interweave reality and fiction. Based on the stories and lives of the women they portray, the artists reimagine the tradition of portraiture by deconstructing the narrative of their protagonists. Cooper & Gorfer’s works are not only startling in their beauty; on the contrary, replete with symbolism they speak about identity,feminism, heritage and the environment and experiences that shape us.

“We felt drawn to a new diaspora, the young generation of women whose lives had been influenced by forced migration and a need for a new place to live. These are adolescents on the cusp of adulthood who have experienced what it means to uproot their reality and sense of self. Young women who grew up with different cultural understandings of the world. They are women in different stages of independence and gender equality and who, because of that, are less rigidly defined, less prone to accept a readymade understanding of the world.”

– Cooper & Gorfer