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ABSTRACT! The Finnish Museum of Photography

Nov 2017 – Jan 2018

Renja Leino:
Sattumasfääri - Sphere of Chance 1995. Unique. Silver gelatin FB photographs. Selenium toned, mounted.

Installation view at The Finnish Museum of Photography: ABSTRACT! Nov 2017 – Jan 2018. Unique. Silver gelatin photographs. Selenium toned, mounted. First time at Poriginal Gallery 1995.

The intense playful rhythm in these abstract photographs is a methaphor about existential questions. Photographs were done as an emotional reaction after the sea catastrophy near our archipelago in Sept 1994, when passenger ship MS Estonia sunk. This installation was an attempt to understand the fact of vulnerability of life, about how suddenly the chance could influence our lives.

“The Abstract! exhibition will celebrate the hundred-year history of photographic abstraction. The exhibition will present a large number of Finnish artists from different periods, and the famous international early abstractionists László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, and August Strindberg”.

The exhibition is on view November 1st, 2017 – January 14th, 2018.   Abstraction, which is popular in today’s photographic art, met with strong opposition, especially among photographers, when it was first introduced in the early 20th century – and has done so at regular intervals ever since. It was considered to be pointless and to go against the nature of photography as a medium for recording and representing reality. Abstraction has also been ignored in Finnish research on photography, even though it has an essential role in the history of the medium. For this reason, the exhibition highlights a number of unsung Finnish photographers, thus proving that the history of Finnish photographic art has more facets than has previously been thought. The exhibition will feature works by, for example, Vilho Setälä, Erik Blomberg, Eino Mäkinen, Otso Pietinen, a group of photographic artists called Fotograafikot, and contemporary photographers including Marko Vuokola, Timo Kelaranta, Niko Luoma, Ea Vasko and Nanna Hänninen. The curator of the exhibition is photographer Laura Nissinen, who is writing her dissertation for Aalto University on the subject “Abstraction in Finnish Art Photography”.