Book Review: Beyond the Mirror
As you stare into your own sickly reflection, Death’s song steadily calls you further and further towards the mirror. Slowly, we emerge beyond and enter this new unknown world. We find ourselves filled with an intense sense of dread followed by a sweet calm. As you gaze out at the deserted landscapes you see shadows all marching in a line towards an unknown destination. Quickly it becomes apparent that this is not our world. It is a world that exists beyond life and death
Leif Sandberg, the photographer of Beyond the Mirror, has knocked on Death's door and returned a changed man after defeating cancer. In the wake of this experience, he compiled a photography book, titled Ending. However, even after his brush with death, Sandberg continues to explore the complex themes of life and death in his second book Beyond the Mirror. Regardless, there is much more to this book than just the ever-present theme of death and what comes after the ending of life.
Within the pages of Beyond the Mirror, we are granted a glimpse into a strange and unfamiliar world that exists alongside our own. Many of the photos in this book consist of deserted landscapes or strange abstract imagery. These images are both hauntingly beautiful and eerily unsettling, evoking the irrational fear of the unknown that is ingrained within us all while simultaneously sparking a sense of curiosity.
Sandberg’s book acts as a doorway that grants his readers the privilege of stepping into his own world thus experiencing his personal battle with mortality. His world is bleak yet hauntingly beautiful. Time feels frozen as these never ending foreign landscapes stretch far and wide as fact and fiction collide in this magnificent blend of photography and symbolism. For those on the existential side of life, this book is an absolute must-have. While I leafed through the pages of the book I couldn’t help but be enthralled by my own existential thoughts. I found myself captivated by these images and for a brief moment, I began to view the world the same way as Sandberg.