People in the Eastern Border Country - The first Imatra Biennale of Photographic Art
Boris Missirkov & Georgi Bogdanov » Krisztina Erdei » Andras Fékété » Veli Granö » Jaakko Heikkilä » Dagmar Hochova » Kati Koivikko » Martin Kollar » Dana Kyndrova » Lucia Nimcová » Marja Pirilä » Sanni Seppo » Jindrich Streit » Pekka Turunen »
Exhibition: 6 Jun – 29 Aug 2003
Imatra Art Museum
The first Imatra Biennale of Photographic Art takes us on a pictorial journey into Europe's Eastern borderlands. The Imatra region borders onto Russia, a country with which Eastern Europe has shared an economic and spiritual history stretching back for decades. All Europe however is now reaching out for economic integration. Whilst the European Union is blurring our old political concepts of East and West, people's motives for moving around Europe are increasingly governed by economic circumstances. Photographs at this Biennale make us stop and, for a moment, identify with the experiences of some of these people; the little life maps of individuals where existence is neither about large-scale events nor long journeys. Exhibition contributions have been invited from modern documentary photographers whose work probes European feelings about our era. The Finnish artists sketch a picture of Finland: Pekka Turunen's North Karelian people convey what it really takes to live on the periphery. In Kati Koivikko's photographs the countryside lives on in dreamy quietness. Veli Granö's people build miniature worlds as if by doing so they could protect their own picture of the world. Sanni Seppo's Finland is a familiar forestland but in her photographs Finland's forests have changed into forests of the mind, mental pictures. Jaakko Heikkilä portrays people being happy at home, whereas in Marja Pirilä's photographs people examine their environment in relation to their private living space. From Eastern Europe we present both the new generation of documentary photographers and the masters with established reputations in their countries. The photographic duo of Boris Missirkov & Georgi Bogdanov comment on the remaining dreams and bygone ideals of the elderly. Krisztina Erdein's photographs portray a people fragmented in desolate surroundings. Andras Fekete follows how people move around on the Eastern European railroad network. Martin Kollar picks out the comic moments from everyday life, and Lucia Nimcova investigates young women's private rooms. Finally, life in the Czech Republic is represented in the photographs of Jindrich Streit, Dagmar Hochova and Dana Kyndrova. The works from Eastern Europe contain both the classical characteristics of documentary photography and a young photographer's fresh and free ideas of working. The exhibition comprises a series of around six photographs from each artist. In all, 80–100 colour and black&white photographs, placing people centre stage. The exhibition curator is Photographic Artist Päivi Eronen.