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Marjaana Kella



Installationsansicht, Marjaana Kella, »Portraits«, 2004, © FOTOHOF

FOTOHOF is showing Marjaana Kella, a prominent representative of Finnish photography. Finnish photography has become an insider tip in the field of photography in general in recent years. The great international interest as well as the high artistic status is due to the presence of many talented young artists, a profound educational situation and a well-functioning network of galleries and museums. In summary, Finnish photography can be described in a few key words: a reduced pictorial language with technically refined yet simple means of expression concentrates on the search for one’s own identity. Many Finnish photographers are not characterised by shrill and loud, but by subjects that appear harmonious at first glance. It is only at second glance that one becomes aware of the ambiguity when, in the apparent idyll, the individual encounters his or her limits in the desire for freedom and self-determination. (Pirkko Siitari) Marjaana Kella, born in Orimattila in 1961, lives and works in Helsinki, where she studied at the University of Art and Design between 1987 and 1993.

Marjaana Kella, aus der Serie: »Portraits«

Kella’s main interest is portraiture. In her photographs, she pursues concepts that – as in the “Hypnosis” series – focus on the personality and its feelings as well as the representability of the subconscious. In a single photographically captured moment, uncontrollable feelings flow from the depths of the human mind. Kella’s intention is not to document hypnosis, but to let the subconscious, personality and emotional world of the sitter speak for him. The viewer falls into the role of the secret observer. The sitter remains an unknown because he closes himself off from the rational world and remains in the “elsewhere”.
We encounter a similarly distanced relationship between viewer and sitter in another series, “Käänteiset” (Reversed), which will also be on view. These photos show men and women turning their backs to us, a position we generally perceive as dismissive or impolite. Is it a refusal to make contact with a counterpart? Or does it express the impossibility for the photographer to fully capture the personality of the sitter? From a technical point of view, Kella works with the large-format camera. She illuminates the sitter strongly from the front, which causes a focus on the person and allows the background to sink into diffuse light and blurriness. Kella is one of the most important representatives of an immensely strong and exciting photographic scene in Finland.

Curated by Martin Hochleitner
In Kooperation mit Landesgalerie Linz, Finnish Museum of Photography Helsinki