Helsinki School

Gallery Taik Persons

The Helsinki School -
From the Past to the Future

Published by: Hatje Cantz, 2014
Format: 29.50 x 24.50 cm, hardcover
Pages: ca. 256 pages, ca. 180 illustrations
Texts: Holger Broeker, Alistair Hicks,Erika Hoffman-Koenige,
Andréa Holzherr,Timothy Persons, Lyle Rexer, Pari Stave,
Christoph Tannert, Jyrki Parantainen
Language: English
Graphic design by: Hannes Aechter
ISBN 978-3-7757-3901-6
Hatje Cantz

I find it amazing that after twenty years of existence, the Helsinki School cannot be defined by any one fixed point of view. Conceptually there is a red thread connecting one generation to another in the way they perceive and present their ideas but not necessarily in how they apply them.
Timothy Persons (introduction)

Following the first four volumes of the Helsinki School, this new publication looks back at the development of this group of photographers over the past twenty years and traces the emergence of the photographic tendency bearing this name.

In a collection of essays, international curators, art critics, and museum directors describe their encounters with the Helsinki School, from the first exhibitions in the late nineties to the youngest generation of photographers. A discussion between Timothy Persons and Alistair Hicks concludes these contributions. The texts are accompanied by installation shots from numerous international exhibitions, archival materials, books, posters, invitations, and most recent works by the different generations of artists.

Maanantai Collective
Nine Nameless Mountains

Published by: Kehrer Verlag in 2013.
Format: 17 x 21 cm, Linen softcover with open spine
Pages: 104 pages, 70 color illustrations
Editor: Maanantai Collective
Authors: Maanantai Collective
Artists: Maanantai Collective
Designed by: Maanantai
Language: English
ISBN 978-3-86828-422-5

Maanantai is formed by a group of young photographers from Helsinki. It all started after a succession of Monday meetings, when they decided to escape North to the Norwegian Lofoten Islands, where Nine Nameless Mountains became their story. Challenging the notion of authorship with a body of work made by one common author with 16 eyes, it is a poetical and absurd topographical exploration of the notion of distance and scales – latitude versus altitude.

The book follows the group experimentations, with the mountain as a “leitmotif”, the escaping horizon as a metaphor for life and the impossibility to reach an absolute goal; it revisits the genre of the road-trip with an impish attitude and curiosity towards the unknown. On their way North, the artists played together with natural elements -stones, waves, light, sand, clouds – to create a playfully confusing story, their motive for the celebration of friendship, photography and chance.

“The book was more than any other aspects of the project a space for experimentation, our common territory for tries and surprises. A place where each of us was confronted with the visions of the others and where we could go beyond any individual copyright. We perceived the book as a strong medium; it has its own weight on the ground, like a rock.”

Further information:


Published by: the Artist, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Artist: Mikko Rikala

Mikko Rikala
Towards Nothing

Published by: Lugemik, Tallinn,  2016
Format: ca. 19,5 x 14,5 cm, Softcover
Pages: 150 pages
Texts: Harry Salmenniemi
Artists: Mikko Rikala
Language: English / Finnish
Design by: Tuomas Kortteinen
ISBN 978-9949-9781-6-8

It feels as if there is no time or place. It’s possible that there is no time or place. I feel like saying: as if they were floating.                               Harry Salmenniemi 

Towards Nothing is a book of visual and textual poetry. The title indicates a journey with an unidentified destination, but it is more likely an attempt to reach a state of pure being. Mikko Rikala’s first book is a monograph juxtaposing his photography-based works with a text by the Finnish writer, Harry Salmenniemi.

In his works, Mikko Rikala often investigates the boundaries between rationality and irrationality. The images in the book depict a certain tone of objectivity and reveal a meditative state through Rikala’s way of observation. Harry Salmenniemi’s poetic, diary-like text equilibrates and complements Mikko Rikala’s pictures creating a delicate balance between the sense of rationality and irrationality.

Rikala often utilizes the act of repetition as a metaphor of the passing of time. The content and structure of the book are constructed by the reappearance of certain themes and images. In the work Morning Is Evening in Reverse the traces of sunlight indicate the cycle of a day, measured by the passing of time and the changes of light between sunrise and sunset. As if time would exist in a constant loop; it opens up our senses towards a new way of perception.

Judit Schuller