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Open 24/4: 12–17
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Marjaana Kella / Photographs

2002-05-26 to 2002-09-01

Marjaana Kella (born in 1961) is now working in Helsinki and is one
of a new generation of Finnish photographers and artists. Her exhibition at Bildmuseet includes works from her series Interiors (1997-1998) and the portrait series Reversed (1996-1997) and Hypnosis (1997-2001).

Kella’s portraiture follows classic principals of composition, yet they are anything but classic. Indeed, it is possible to debate whether this is portraiture at all. The Reversed portraits depict people from the back; we see a person’s hair and neck, catch a glimpse of an ear. In the series of portraits entitled Hypnosis, we see people under hypnosis, physically present but with facial expressions and gestures that reveal that mentally these people are elsewhere. Both present and absent at the same time. The exhibition also includes several works from her Interiors series – pictures of rooms that have been emptied of almost every single meaningful detail.

Through the revealing sharpness in a hyper-realistic space, Marjaana Kella attempts to say something about the invisible. With that as her ambition, she carries the central paradox of artistry into her work: being sufficiently oneself while, at the same time, reflecting what the eye cannot see, the object of our imagination. Obviously, it is therefore possible to see her pictures as modern metaphoric art. However, there is also – even if she does not express it in such terms herself – a distinct classic reference in Velasquez: in the show of contrasts, in focus and the intensity of light, as well as in her interest in the reflection of the word’s literal and metaphorical senses.