Gallery TAIK is delighted to present the Helsinki School artist Niina Vatanen in a solo exhibition entitled Grey Diary.
Niina Vatanen´s Grey Diary documents a photographic search for traces, a quest for what is left of the mortal remains of someone dear to you. The result is a multifaceted, but also splintered portrait of the artist´s deceased stepfather that at the same time includes multilayered reflection on someone´s absence.
To do this, Vatanen made use of different forms and media; she rnphotographed documents, such as postcards, pages from a calendar or a rnmap, old passport photos of her stepfather, and places where he often rnstayed. She then collected the targets that she shot at with his rifle; rnthe result is 157 Wounds, a formally and strictly composed installation rnon the diversity of the pain of loss. The importance of each single rnpicture in the series is not determined by its aesthetic sensation, but rnby the personal memory it can conjure up. The most worthwhile of rnmemories can be linked to something as simple as a clearing in the rnwoods.rn
A special role is played by the target pasters, small stickers rnmarksmen like her stepfather apply to close off the bullet holes in the rntarget so they can use it again. As for their role in the series, rnVatanen says: "They are an attempt to mark memories and places, but theyrn also work like a patch: they cover scratches and scars. Attaching the rntarget pasters is also doing the same act my stepfather used to do. rnThere is a wound in a landscape. I want to repair it." Band- Aids close rnwounds, but simultaneously make them all the more visible.rn
Grey Diary highlights the complexity of memory and loss. The place rnthat photography occupies in this context was described by Roland rnBarthes in the following: "With the childhood photo of my mother before rnmy eyes, I say to myself: she will die: I shudder … in the face of a rncatastrophe that has already taken place." Photography in this sense rnthematizes death: if something is photographed, the moment has already rnpassed.rn
In the recent years the 33 year old artist has participated in many rngroup exhibitions worldwide (Helsinki, Paris, Daegu). Her next solo rnexhibition will take place this winter at the Photographic Center Peri rnin Turku, Finland. The latest publications of her works are The Helsinkirn School - Young Photography by TaiK and Daegu - The Helsinki School. Herrn works are included in numerous museums and private collections in rnFinland.rn