Materialized after a cancer surgery, ‘Ending’ was a critically acclaimed book by Leif Sandberg (1943) that dealt with the proximity of death. What could possibly be a sequence to a publication titled ‘Ending’?
‘Beyond the Mirror’ is a unique answer to that. Happening after death, with death still indeed present, his new book has biographical elements such as photos from Leif’s several crossings through Camino de Santiago, family and intimate photos and also a touch of sci-fi: “Yes, I think I saw a UFO on my way home after working late a cold and crisp winter night. I saw a slow moving light in the sky and stopped the car and stepped out looking and saw a large toroid form rotating slowly in the sky.”
For this reason, Lotta Lotass’ text included in a side booklet, brings a new layer to the work. “I was looking for a text that had some sort of connection to my images, something that could add to the perspective. And it was right in front of me. In my bookshelf I had a trilogy of Lotass, where ‘Mars’ is one of the books. Reading it again, I found it very suitable for what I was looking for and when she without hesitation let me use the text, I was delighted.”
At a time, Leif was scanning old negatives from his archive, as well as his father’s slides from his family holidays that were dated back up to 50 years. Among the scans Leif found images alluding to deserted and foreign landscapes, which gave him access into other worlds, other than the one we live in. He also realized that some images from his Santiago de Compostela walks had similar connotations. The project guided itself into worlds beyond what we see, beyond the mirror.
In Sandberg’s own words: “Fiction can take us into other people’s lives and widen our experience. What we call reality can be quite different for each of us, but basically I believe it is what our senses register and what the brain transform it to. Fiction is something made up by your own or other people’s fantasy and I am fascinated by the mixture of these two things as it enriches your life.”
Compared to Leif’s first book, ‘Beyond the Mirror’ has a more experimental approach to photography. Trying to make something related to other worlds, the photographer felt that it was natural to use a special language. - “I believe we only experience a fraction what is going on around us and that there are many ”worlds” we cannot see or experience. ‘Beyond the Mirror’ is a fantasy around these things.”