Aino Kannisto has been creating staged photographs of herself as the principal protagonist for the past twenty years, extracting from her fantasies those emotional moments that form the parameters of who she is. She builds her fictional scenes documenting a kaleidoscope of different colored feelings that range from anticipation to contemplation, death, and hope, all with a melancholic sensibility found within an expressionless face. Her photographs have a documentary style that’s graced with a filtered light of a filmmaker’s touch. These images do not represent reconstructed situations from her own life, but more like fantasies that capture her fears, or the sufferings of situations that could happen. Kannisto carefully prepares her photographic stages to seem as real as possible, lending them the power of suggestion of whether they really happened or not. In a sense, Kannisto uses the process of making art as her own personal therapy, a tool to help her find new ways to question and comfort herself. Her photographs aren’t romanticized, yet she says: "Beauty has the ability to soothe pain.” In other words, her photographic constructions may be aesthetically pleasing, but more so as a vehicle to introduce subject matter that is disturbing and unpleasant. Her images are a fine balance between the heart and the head: follow the first and the other will follow. Kannisto addresses the cultural fears and vulnerabilities women have always faced in any society. Inspired by the works of Sally Mann, Sophie Calle, Francesca Woodman, and Ulla Jokisalo, Aino Kannisto uses her camera as a means to pierce the melancholic moments in life as we experience them. Her photographs encapsulate the sentiment of Fernando Pessoa when he wrote: "I wasn’t meant for reality but life came and found me.”
Aino Kannisto was born in 1973 in Helsinki. She lives and works in Helsinki. 2001 she graduated from the University of Art an Design Helsinki, today Aalto University School of Art and Design.