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"INDEPENDENCE THROUGH THE LENSES"

26.10.- 03.12.2017
Photography exhibition “Independence Through the Lenses” featuring works by Finnish photographers Jaakko Kahilaniemi, Riitta Päiväläinen, Harri Pälviranta, Juha Suonpää will be exhibited from October 26 in Latvian Museum of Photography, curated by Tuula Alajoki.

The experience of independence, cultural traditions and memories shape our ways of seeing and looking at ourselves and at the others. National identity can meld us among characterisations, but also give us momentary uniqueness. Autonomy and freedom of expression build up polyphonic national and individual identity, which always is the sum of the carrier's immanent values and significations. Without forgetting our own involvement in both – forming the image of the nation, and also being among its closest viewers – how to describe independence, homeland and nationality, when shared common values are getting yet harder to define?
Backlight Photo Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary and Finland’s 100 years of independence by organizing an exhibition tour of seven Finnish photographic artists in Europe. The tour “Independence Through the Lenses” is realized together with the Backlight Photo Festival and its international partners in Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Latvia as part of the Programme on the centenary of Finland ´s independence in 2017.
In Juha Suonpää’s series “Holy Melancholy”, Santa Claus is seen as an allegory for being Finnish, and through him national stereotypes are dismantled against the backdrop of familiar romantic nationalism. Harri Pälviranta’s “With guns one can” presents photographic, post documentary works from the series “News Portraits”, “Imprint” and “Touch”. By combining these recent series Pälviranta faces various overlapping violent realities: the fascination with firearms, the act of shooting as such, school shootings as a global phenomenon, and the mediatisation of violence.  In Riitta Päiväläinen’s “Imaginary Meetings”, inklings serve as passages between memory and oblivion, between presence and absence. The scenery, and the space Päiväläinen has created into it, the vanishing traces and vestiges allow us to imagine what might have happened previously, or who might have earlier worn the dress that has now become part of the scenery. Roots, independence, and a sense of belonging create comfort and refuge, an emotional bond and an idea of a place you can always go back to. Jaakko Kahilaniemi returns to search the forest, as its owner. “100 Hectares of Understanding” is Kahilaniemi’s attempt to understand the 100 hectares of forest he owns. How can the forest be experienced and felt, and what does nature have to offer to urbanized people?

EXHIBITION OPENING WILL TAKE PLACE ON OCTOBER 26, 2017, AT 5.00 PM, AT LATVIAN MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY, MARSTALU STREET 8 (ENTRANCE FROM ALKSNAJU ST.)