Kari Medig Gallerie
The Edge of Experience
At the base of Oukaïmeden, a Moroccan ski resort in the High Atlas Mountains, the air twitches with new snow. Clad in a black full-body niqab, a woman pulls a sled while her son squeals in his rented pink ski suit. Three friends toss snowballs, and a Marrakeshi man in aviator sunglasses cuts serious snowplows through slush. By high noon, a flock of sheep will graze where the fleeting snow fell, and tourists will eat tajine in the sun. By evening, a string of taxis will return the buzz of humanity to the valley bottom.
Kari Medig is in his happy place at the far edge of the ski hill. Neck bent, he peers into the viewfinder of his 1977 Hasselblad, a medium-format film camera that stirs curiosity in many an onlooker. He focuses on a teenager named Ahmed, who is focusing intently back. Ahmed is disappointed that, unlike a digital camera, he can’t instantly preview his pose (a fancy, circa-1990s hotdogger high kick). For Kari, the scene has all the right ingredients for his kind of photography: Snow, skis and an endless supply of unpredictable unfoldings.
The solid clunk made by the film shutter has an acoustic certainty that is instantly at odds with artistic uncertainty. In his photography, Kari seeks out the edges of experiences, the absurd, the sub-stories of the main stage. He is not trying to replicate subjective perfection or curate peak experiences with his images. He is standing at the fringes, knee deep in the imperfect-but-real, marveling at the joyful and raw moments that bring humans together as they slip over snow…