Pictures of the Month/ Leena Holmström: Meaningless Moments
27.05.2019 - 30.06.2019
”I ended up in Paris. I wandered there like an old time Flaneur, breathing in the atmosphere of the city of cafes, baguette sellers and homeless refugees. I ended up at the corner of Rue du Poissoniere and found a spot for photographing at the wall of a bank - a mirror door that was no longer used. I started photographing the reflections of people passing me. I wanted to show the graffiti and the peephole of the door in the images. For me they are a metaphor of the tensions of our time and the idea of being under surveillance.
The subway draw in and pushed out ordinary locals who passed me in lines. I was democratic with my photography and made no selections in who I took a picture of. I was standing at the same spot and imagined that I created a stage on the street with the use of the mirror. I joined together the everyday steps and the rebellious graffiti. I was an observer but at the same time I was being observed since there was an ATM with a surveillance camera next to me.
I continued my role as a film director at home. I combined the images into collages, which I then cut into pieces and sew back together. I wanted my images to have an atmosphere that is a mix of the jolly mess of moving feet, light and shadows and of monotonic repetition - the flow of people and masses but also the feeling of fear and alienation. My own history shows in the pictures. They start resembling a fictional and subconscious collage of my various city experiences.
I felt that Paris was like a kaleidoscope - it was so diverse. There is no way I could have showed it in one image as Cartier-Bresson did. Instead I found the right feeling in the countless moments that on their own were not particularly meaningful but create new meanings when put together and repeated.”
Leena Holmström is an Oulu-based photographer. She says that photography is a natural part of her life and that she brings her camera with her almost every day. She has studied in various art schools and has a MA from the University of Lapland where she is currently doing her doctoral studies. Her photographs have been showed in various group and solo exhibitions around Finland.