Nanna Saarhelo: How to Imitate Gray Weather

08.08.2015 - 13.09.2015


Artist Talk klo 17

Opening 18


An imaginary female figure  who tries to react and adapt to her environment is adventuring in the pictures of the exhibition ”How to Imitate Gray Weather” by Nanna Saarhelo.

Performance-like pictures form a kind of absurd survival guide. Action taking place in the pictures is small, a little melancholic but relentless effort of adaption, that often shows as abrupt imitation.

The creature approaches objectives always from a little bizarre viewpoint, too literally, childish or animal-like at times. The locations of pictures are beautiful but anonym. Funny and sorrowful, but it’s difficult to say where one ends and another begins.  Imitation happens also on another level: pictures borrow from other pictures, history of painting and contemporary photography.

Along with adaption the pictures themselves try, with their clumsy and scattered way to belong to a group, to continuum of visual arts and conventions. They tell stories that feel familiar but at the same time contain something else, too: incorrect or humorous elements that mess the reading.

”I use myself as a model in the pictures, but the works are not more self-portraits  than any picture that is autobiographical to its maker. It is a working method based on improvisation that frees ideation in the moment. In practice I run back and forth between the camera and the picture, posing and checking the outcome. Something happens on the way between those two positions. I am constantly on the move, I make fast decisions and don’t give time for deeper critique before the shoot is over.

Running works as flexing also for the mind. The photo shoot becomes meditative and the flow of thoughts running: every idea that feels interesting can be tested, and the action is so fast that the thoughts don’t have time to turn into words, only pictures.”

The pictures in the exhibition are from the years 2014-2015 and presented in public for the first time  in this exhibition. Nanna Saarhelo is a photographic artist and photojournalist from Helsinki who has graduated from the art university in 2007. Her works have been exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad.