The Helsinki School: The Nature of Being, Vol. 6

The Helsinki School: The Nature of Being, Vol. 6

Publisher: Hatje Cantz, 2019.
Ed. Timothy Persons, Asia Zak Persons, text(s) by Grey Crawford, Antje-Britt Mählmann, Timothy Persons, Marja Sakari, graphic design by Full Metal Jacket.
Format: 24 x 29 cm
Language: English
ISBN 978-3-7757-4699-1

Persons Projects is happy to present the new volume of The Helsinki School: The Nature of Being, Vol. 6. The publication has been launched Saturday 7 November during Paris Photo Fair 2019.
It concentrates on bringing together the various approaches used by the School’s representatives to conceptualize nature visibly. The stated goal is not to limit oneself to purely physical depictions of animals, plants, and landscapes. Nature ought to be expressed through a di¤erent type of unit and with a new way of gauging time. Days, months, and seasons become the points of crystallization for time. Thus, the photographs reflect a Nordic sense about feelings of loneliness, jealousy, or desire. The works provide photographic insight into the complex horizon of emotions that characterize our individual views of nature. They do not portray landscape as such, but the world in which we live.
Since the 1990s the name Helsinki School has been used to describe a group of fine art photographers who studied, taught, or graduated from the Aalto University’s School of Art, Design and Architecture. The term unites a consistent conceptual approach.

Mikko Rikala
Towards Nothing

Published by: Lugemik, Tallinn,  2016
Format: ca. 19,5 x 14,5 cm, Softcover
Pages: 150 pages
Texts: Harry Salmenniemi
Artists: Mikko Rikala
Language: English / Finnish
Design by: Tuomas Kortteinen
ISBN 978-9949-9781-6-8

It feels as if there is no time or place. It’s possible that there is no time or place. I feel like saying: as if they were floating.                               

Harry Salmenniemi 

Towards Nothing is a book of visual and textual poetry. The title indicates a journey with an unidentified destination, but it is more likely an attempt to reach a state of pure being. Mikko Rikala’s first book is a monograph juxtaposing his photography-based works with a text by the Finnish writer, Harry Salmenniemi.

In his works, Mikko Rikala often investigates the boundaries between rationality and irrationality. The images in the book depict a certain tone of objectivity and reveal a meditative state through Rikala’s way of observation. Harry Salmenniemi’s poetic, diary-like text equilibrates and complements Mikko Rikala’s pictures creating a delicate balance between the sense of rationality and irrationality.

Rikala often utilizes the act of repetition as a metaphor of the passing of time. The content and structure of the book are constructed by the reappearance of certain themes and images. In the work Morning Is Evening in Reverse the traces of sunlight indicate the cycle of a day, measured by the passing of time and the changes of light between sunrise and sunset. As if time would exist in a constant loop; it opens up our senses towards a new way of perception.

Judit Schuller

Mikko RikalaTowards Nothing
Maanantai CollectiveNine Nameless Mountains

Maanantai Collective
Nine Nameless Mountains

Published by: Kehrer Verlag in 2013.
Format: 17 x 21 cm, Linen softcover with open spine
Pages: 104 pages, 70 color illustrations
Editor: Maanantai Collective
Authors: Maanantai Collective
Artists: Maanantai Collective
Designed by: Maanantai
Language: English
ISBN 978-3-86828-422-5

Maanantai is formed by a group of young photographers from Helsinki. It all started after a succession of Monday meetings, when they decided to escape North to the Norwegian Lofoten Islands, where Nine Nameless Mountains became their story. Challenging the notion of authorship with a body of work made by one common author with 16 eyes, it is a poetical and absurd topographical exploration of the notion of distance and scales – latitude versus altitude.

The book follows the group experimentations, with the mountain as a "leitmotif”, the escaping horizon as a metaphor for life and the impossibility to reach an absolute goal; it revisits the genre of the road-trip with an impish attitude and curiosity towards the unknown. On their way North, the artists played together with natural elements -stones, waves, light, sand, clouds – to create a playfully confusing story, their motive for the celebration of friendship, photography and chance.

"The book was more than any other aspects of the project a space for experimentation, our common territory for tries and surprises. A place where each of us was confronted with the visions of the others and where we could go beyond any individual copyright. We perceived the book as a strong medium; it has its own weight on the ground, like a rock.”

Further information:


Published by: the Artist, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Artist: Mikko Rikala