The line between the sea and the land is ubiquitous. It frays and snakes in- ward into the land’s interior, hardens into an insular loop to create a border, or develops these elements just to pit them against one another. No one can step across this threshold without modifying their natural way of walking. This threshold constitutes the limit of the domain of those who tread on land. The coastal strip conceived as a manifold screen for projections satisfies both types of demand: Those friendly ones that yearn for something absent but also those mystical ones that seem full of menace.
Any border is conditioned by the entities it separates. And the shore constitutes a transitional space which – beyond its symbolic significance as a threshold – can be stepped on for real. Annemie Martin explores the space she can still access and in doing so, she comes upon forms that are other. Due to the tides, entities that belong to the counterpart on the other side of the border seem at times to be from here. The alien element leaves behind traces and formations; it engraves itself upon the land and leaves behind its creaturely objects as though they were artifacts. She approaches more closely and examines critically these elemental transformations. She may be able to see both this and the other side in this non-specific liminal space, but she cannot look beyond the rim. From time to time, she comes upon other people treading on land, as she does, and she records their occurrence and their conditions.
The photographer always decides what to show and what to leave out. The decision as to ‘how’ to see something and ‘as what’ to define it has to be made by each and every viewer looking at these works. This responsibility simultaneously opens up the possibility of linking any motifs with others in complex relationships – as though they were a network. In producing such subjective relationships, we are creating selective maps.
The series rim was created in a host of different coastal regions all over the world.
Essay: Ellen Martin, M.A.