For a majority of her ongoing career, Susanna Majuri has been using the presence of water in her photographs. The element acts as an emotional conduit for her inner feelings, dreams, and fantasies. Her narratives vary from the surreal to the hypnotic, usually featuring a solitary female figure who performs above surreal backgrounds chosen by the artist. Majuri's photographs are neither Photoshopped nor manipulated in postproduction. Her landscapes within any given photo are taken from old paintings or other archival images, are then photographically transferred to a wax-like textile material and last physically sunk to the bottom of a swimming pool. Majuri creates her own visual world by having her subjects swim back into their dreams. She blends fantasy with reality, infusing each with the other as she aims to seed a sense of elsewhere in her viewers' perception. Her characters may be singing, dancing, flying, or merely holding hands with the twilight zone. Joined together, they all convey an emotional sensibility that floats out from the image like a dream from a memory. The water works effortlessly to curve, warp, and merge her subjects with their imagined landscapes. Majuri's photographs find their contextual meanings rooted in words or phrases from books or her own poetic writings. Her images invite the beholder to catch a glimpse of her desires by realizing their own, while she urges them to follow her to a place that doesn't exist. In Majuri's world people can eat their dreams and ride their imaginations. It's a place where her mysteries become your secrets. She explores the borders that surround our notions of life, from birth to death and somewhere in between. Growing up in a conservative religious Karelian family in Finland, Majuri found solace in Bjork's music videos that she would watch as a teenager. In a sense, she used their energy as encouraging inspiration for her personal transformation from a young adolescent into a woman. Majuri's fascination with water is best described as magical. She calls it "her favorite color." She navigates her emotions through a journey, referring to colors as her "home, friends or safe place." Unlike other artists who have used water as their motifs, such as David Hockney or Bill Viola, Susanna Majuri's use suggests an internal personal attachment that reflects a universal vulnerability we all seemingly share. Her images find their own way to seep themselves into our consciousness, leaving us with a trace of their passing.
Susanna Majuri was born in 1978, Helsinki. She died in 2020.