Sorel Cohen

Toronto Photographer Workshop

Eleven years ago, Sorel Cohen photographed someone making a bed and then made these pictures into a series that linked housework to the repressed history of women’s art. The approach, given the subject, might have been cool, documentary, polemical. But using a slow shutter-speed on her camera, Cohen instead showed blurred figures cracking bed sheets into soft, bucking arabesques. Here was a slinky romanticism that injected play, sex, and passion into the middle of a buttoned-up political argument. Since then Cohen has kept this sensuous aspect of her work closely guarded. Her photographs have become allegorical images investigating representation. Cohen sometimes portrays herself as a painter, locked, somewhat stiffly, into an intermediate space between viewer and subject. Short semiotic texts also make an appearance as part of the image; the intent seems to be to fashion a caveat against

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