Pictures of the Month / Jaana Haapaluoma-Höglund: Self Assembly
28.10.2019 - 01.12.2019
The exhibition tells a story of five women who have gone trough a life crisis that they feel has changed who they are. The starting point of the project was the idea of being empowered by being photographed. The women in the portraits have said that the portraits have helped them in handling their inner change and made them see themselves in a new way.
The artist wants to remind that the people in the portraits are just like everyone else since all of us go trough shattering life experiences. Self Assembly is a reminder of the impermanent nature of selfhood, of how one can fall apart inside and then rise as a new person.
Haapaluoma-Höglund chose to photograph women as she sees that it’s still problematic how women are presented in images: “Women’s position in our society is growing stronger and stronger – the new Finnish Parliament has more female representatives than ever before – but womanhood is still loaded with unrealistic expectations and norms. Women are expected to be pleasing by their appearance. One common way of oppressing women is to tell them to “smile a little” in situations where smile doesn’t come naturally. Smile indicates that one is harmless and easy to approach. On the contrary there is a questionable expression for a non-smiley female impression – a resting bitch face.”
Recently a Hollywood actress gained negative attention in Twitter for not smiling in a movie trailer. Haapaluoma-Höglund has noticed that commenting women with serious expressions in a negative way is common in many social media communities for photographers too.
Jaana Haapaluoma-Höglund (b. 1988) is a freelancer and self-taught photographer from Oulu. Her photography focuses in different formations of humanity and observations of selfhood. Visually she relies in black and white image and strong contrasts. Haapaluoma-Höglund wants to question the normal or the common. Self Assembly is her first solo exhibition. Her images have previously been shown in group shows by Gurushot Collective in Rendez-vous Image festival in Strasbourg and in Gallery New Moment in Berlin.