Helsinki School

Gallery Taik Persons

Ville Kumpulainen
Out of Sight

Published by: Hatje Cantz Verlag, Berlin, 2017
Format: 20 x 26 cm, Hardcover
Pages: 88 pages
Foreword: Timothy Persons
Text(s): Tiina Lehikoinen
Artists: Ville Kumpulainen
Language: English
ISBN 978-3-7757-4373-0

Echoes from the Past

Moments from the past can be anchored in memories or immortalized in photographs. Yet, other things can also occur, as the Finnish artist Ville Kumpulainen (*1988 Rovaniemi) shows us in his impressive series Out of Sight. He uses photographs to create new histories for our present time. He cuts faces and fragments out of family photos, assembling things that do not belong together, gluing, punching holes in, or sewing individual pictures to produce completely new, yet familiar images. Kumpulainen makes use of a store of pictures gathered together from family albums and his own photographs. In this way, divergent spans of time are blended so that, at first glance, memories are deconstructed, only to be rebuilt and experienced completely anew.

Ola Kolehmainen
It's All One History, Almost

Published by: Hatje Cantz Verlag, Berlin, 2017
Format: 24 x 30 cm, Hardcover
Pages: 128 pages
Editor: Nadine Barth
Text(s): Mark Gisbourne
Artists: Ola Kolehmainen
Language: English
Graphic design by Greige. Mark Kiessling, Birthe Haas
ISBN 978-3-7757-4402-7

Ola Kolehmainen’s (*1964, Helsinki) works are visual journeys to space, time, and light. A graduate of the Helsinki University of Art and Design, and one of the most successful representatives of the first generation of the Helsinki School, Kolehmainen became famous for his method of reducing façades to minimalist details. In his new series, the Finnish photographer, who has been based in Berlin since 2005, focuses masterfully on the space and light in the places where faith is practiced in. Inspired by his exploration of Islamic architecture and mosques in Instanbul, he continued portraying synagogues, mosques, churches, and cathedrals throughout Europe. Kolehmainen’s work here is more narrative. It draws attention to the commonalities and shared histories of the religious spaces, underlining the universal nature of culture or religion.
Berlin, December 7, 2017 – In recent years Kolehmainen has turned more toward the depiction of sacred architecture and adjusted the highly detailed shot in favor of an integrated perspective. Here, he is particularly interested in the relationship of light, space, and time. From 2010 to 2014 the artist visited fifteen European cities to examine the architecture of three religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. His photographs reflect what unites these diverse interiors and exteriors over a time span of more than fifteen hundred years: the sublimity of religious architecture.
In his photographs Kolehmainen places the sacred buildings in relationship to their timelessness and finds that light is the link that connects form, function, and beauty. Light functions as a symbol of spiritual presence, as well as a constant that describes how the historical buildings seem to stand still in time, despite shifting light and seasonal conditions. Hatje Cantz’s publication of It's All One History, Almost is a comprehensive summary of this phase of Kolehmainen’s work. The foreword contains a fictional narrative, supposedly by the monk Polycarp. He imagines a discussion involving Leon Battista Alberti, early Renaissance humanist and author, the Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, and the modern architect Louis I. Kahn about theoretical concepts of aesthetics, as well as the form and function of architecture.
Three levels that correspond in Kolehmainen’s works, in terms of content and form. Using an elaborate process of double exposures, the artist captures the essence of these luminous structures, creating a translation of the universal sacred aspect intrinsic to these buildings. It's All One History, Almost accompanies Kolehmainen’s journey in fifty color photographs, from the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, to St. Peter’s in Rome, to the cathedral in Cologne.