There is a photograph of Tom Sandberg’s I often think about. It is an image of a common brown paper bag. Empty, but it is still holding the shape of what it carried. The opening of the bag is facing the camera. Like a gaping mouth. It draws you in. The void inside that paper bag is so deep, so dark, so enormous that I am afraid of being engulfed by it by just looking at it. It is like a dream where the space inside something can be without borders, limitless, while the outside of the same thing is clearly defined, graspable. That a photograph of a brown paper bag can hold such a contradiction keeps me thinking of that image. That is darkness, and Tom knew it intimately.
From Objektiv #11 Tom Sandberg. Eline Mugaas is an artist living in Oslo. In our very first issues, we invited different people to write about an image they found memorable, under the headline ’Sinnbilde’, a column inspired by FOAM Magazine. Now, in Objektiv’s 10th year, as the ocean of images continues to swell, we’re reigniting this column online.