Natalie Christensen: Last Night I Dreamt I Knew How to Swim
Last night I dreamt I knew how to swim is an exhibition of new work by Natalie Christensen. The title is from Patti Smith’s 2017 book Devotion, an apt construction as the main story and the title of the book are epynomous, not unlike Christensen’s printed geometry holding the subject image of her photographs inside a constructed shape.
In Christensen’s own words “I am repeatedly drawn to the swimming pool as a subject of my photography because for me they are a metaphor for the unconscious. In American culture, pools serve on one level as a recognizable symbol evoking the luxury of leisure. The opportunity to drift aimlessly in the backyard pool has always been an irresistible fantasy. However, a darker interpretation of the subject can evoke repressed desires, unexplained tension and looming disaster. These photographs of a manufactured oasis suggest a binary connection between the world above and the world below, linking submersion in water with the workings of the subconscious.”