OK Pedersen

1st Year, Photo


O. Kristina Pedersen is a first-generation American. Her family moved to the Midwest from Baghdad in the late 1970s. Growing up in Kansas, she learned how to document neither here nor there. She is an artist and a seeker, but she moonlights as a corporate debutante. Her practice is an investigation into the depths of daily ritual and her research concerns the relationship between faith, diaspora, and concrete. She received her BA from DePaul University in Chicago, mentored by ethnographic filmmaker Greg Scott and performance artist Beverly Fre$h. Her work has been published by Pitchfork, Vice, Glamour Girl, Under the Influence, the Luminous Endowment, and the Wall Street Journal.


Sometimes I cannot get over the ground beneath my feet. What a project–all this concrete–what a violent landscape. The difference between a rock and a stone is human handling. I don't understand what counts as natural and what does not, so I collect everything.

Like my family before me, my life has been spent in a permanent state of migration, and I have come to seek knowledge in cycles of death and rebirth. This investigation is a spiritual task: I am looking for the intimate connection between material, memory, images, and truth. In my work, this connection always refers to the mystery of immanence and immanent being. I am not trying to solve this mystery, only to build something out of its fragments.

It is written that God gave Moses all 50 gates of understanding, except one. Plans for the 50th Gate is a series of 49 studies -- 49 4x6 in. inkjet prints -- investigating the form and feeling of such a structure.

“Fifty gates of understanding were created in the world, and all of them were given to Moses, except or one.” Rosh Hashanah 21b

Plans for the 50th Gate - Narrow Gate I, II, III, IV, V (2020)
44 in. x 56 in. Inkjet Prints