Referring to Christian Boltanski’s Les Archives du Coeur (2008 –), the archive of heartbeats, Miia-Mari Virtanen uses her body as a platform to study the fragility of being. With an exploratory approach to human consciousness, she combines photography and digital image processing with medical imaging, measurement and recording techniques. Her heart makes up the core material of her work. It leaves visible traces of her presence, afterwards turning into cues of absence. After collecting the visual, numerical and written physiological data, Virtanen carefully reviews and reconstructs these indexical signs of the self in order to create a new visual entity. By combining human and machine interpretations, she creates a dialogue between the material and immaterial layers of being. As a working method, she pares information down to its essentials. When processing the material, Virtanen aspires to remain sensitive to the underlying quietness and delicacy of these natural forms. She emphasize the pauses and the balance between activity and inactivity.
Miia-Mari Virtanen was born in Espoo, Finland, in 1991. She lives and works in Helsinki. Virtanen is currently studying for an MA in Photography at the Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Her works have been shown in international exhibitions, including Reflections: From Here to There, Gallery Taik Persons, (Berlin, 2018), and Switcheroo: A Storytelling Exhibition, Teurastamo (Helsinki, 2018).