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Helsinki School

Gallery Taik Persons

Topography of Fear

Do you keep an eye on the street-corners at night-time? Do you check the corridors before entering them? Do you feel insecure if someone walks behind you in the same direction? Do women choose different walking routes and different strategies compared to men, and what kind of influence has these variables in relation to our daily routines?

I am interested in the historic layers within the landscape, and particularly in the values that are added onto the landscape and space. A picture of space can also be seen as a picture of the psyche and mental processes. On the fringes of the certainty and safety of urban spaces, grey areas exist. Here lies the possibility of threat, danger and violence. This uncertainty shows in the daily use of safety and surveillance equipment, and in our everyday routines.

The pictures of the series Topography of Fear are taken during night-time in Finland, Estonia, Austria, Germany and in the United Kingdom. Instead of sociological processes, my object is space. The menace could become true; the space is empty in the pictures. It is filled with possibilities and the potential of emptiness, like an empty scene without actors and arrangements. Left are only the traces from the presence of people or things that might have happened there. The basis of my work has been the concept of "mise-en-scène" - scenic emptiness.

A casual passer-by can become an eye-witness or a victim. We are all part of a network of safety, insecureness and menace.

Fr 1 tech the arrangement of furniture, scenery, and other objects used on the stage in a play
2 lit or pomp the surroundings in which an event takes place
(the Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture)