The Struggle to Right Oneself, 2011
In this self-portrait series, Skarbakka captures himself in moments of suspended peril: falling off balconies, tumbling head over heels in painfully precarious falls, slipping nude in the shower, or teetering on the edge of a fateful leap from a railway bridge. In the artist’s statement Skarbakka references philosopher Martin Heidegger’s description of human existence as a process of perpetual falling, and the responsibility of each person to catch ourselves from our own uncertainty. He writes:
This photographic work is in response to this delicate state. It comprises a culmination of thought and emotion, a tying together of the threads of everything I perceive life has come to represent. It is my understanding and my perspective, which relies on the shifting human conditions of the world that we inhabit. It’s exploration resides in the sublime metaphorical space from where balance has been disrupted to the definitive point of no return. It asks the question of what it means to resist the struggle, to simply let go. Or what are the consequences of holding on?
Skarbakka says that he utilizes special climbing gear and other rigging to achieve each shot. He says while the concept behind these works is clear, the message is totally ambiguous.
Kodak 35mm 400
Pentax K1000, SMC Pentax lens
JOBO C-41 color process