Minttu Maari Mäntynen

Resonanssi, Valokuvia


Minttu Maari Mäntynen tavattavissa gallerialla ti 10.9. klo 17-18.

Maisema ajatellaan tilana, mutta se koetaan ajassa. Kuvissa pohditaan tarinoiden, myyttien ja kokijan omien askelten tahdittamaa aikaa suhteessa kameran mekaaniseen aikaan, täsmällisiin valotusaikoihin ja digitaalisen kuvan välittömään luontiprosessiin. Kuvat ovat kokeita mahdollisuuksiin luoda maisemakuviin ajatusten, muistojen ja unelmien mentäviä aukkoja. Skotlannissa, Uudessa-Seelannissa ja Hawaijilla kuvatut maisemat eivät ole ennen näkemättömiä. Kuvaaja on seissyt missä muutkin ovat seisseet, vain eri ajassa.

Näyttely koostuu kahdesta sarjasta: Recurrence sekä Barren Lands, jotka ovat aiemmin olleet osittain esillä Charles H. Scott galleriassa Vancouverissa, Kanadassa ja White Space galleriassa Edinburghissa, Skotlannissa.

Minttu Maari Mäntynen (1975) on Skotlannissa asuva suomalainen valokuvaaja ja elokuvantekijä. Hän opiskeli valokuvausta Edinburghissa ja valmistui kuvataiteen maisteriksi Emily Carr yliopistosta Vancouverista, Kanadasta. Hän on tehnyt töitä taiteen, graafisen suunnittelun, elokuvauksen ja joogaopetuksen parissa. Hänen valokuva- ja videotyönsä käsittelevät tarinankerrontaa, muistoja, juuria, keräilyä sen kaikissa muodoissa ja tapoja joilla yritämme jäsentää ja ymmärtää kokemuksiamme.

Minttu Maari Mäntysen näyttely on esillä galleria Laterna Magican tiili- ja kellarigalleriatilassa 16.8.-14.9.2019.

Lue Minttu Maari Mäntysen tekstit näyttelyn aiheista alta englanniksi:

Barren Lands

There are those who think we have simply defined life wrong. We are no more or less alive than winds sweeping across the planet, or the waves on their constant circles. Life is the flow of energy which maintains both order and life, things die when the energy they consume is no longer replaced. Entropy follows. Stillness, then nothing. We compare everything we see around us to our slightly less than hundred years of potential existence and therefore fail to see the mountains shift and change, the shorelines move and weather patterns change direction. Only when something happens suddenly we pay attention.

The planet in the middle of motion and transformation is what inspired this work. Some of the landscapes in these images do not exist like this anymore. Kilauea erupted a year after I was there changing large parts of the Big Island landscape, at the Oneroa-a-Tohe beach the winds have changed direction from west to east, resulting in higher dunes and less plankton and toheroa, mussels the beach is known for. The Greenland ice melt season is earlier and rather more dramatic and with the forced absence of wardens from Joshua Tree park during the government shutdown this year the landscape was trashed and trees cut.

If we look at life as forces of energy sweeping across the planet, humanity being one of them, there is no denying we have left our mark everywhere. Maybe it is our deep need to stay safe and in places we know that makes us live in denial of change. We visit places twice or ten times to confirm they are still the same, complain when there is a new path or a new house. It is how we try to preserve things, we think of an animal we know the look of and ignore the ecosystem it is part of. We feel happy to conserve a mountain top that is a familiar shape to us, yet it is easy to ignore the industries that affects the waters and air around it.

If the very expression of life is temporary like an individual wave at sea, then only the process of its appearance and disappearance exists leaving its marks on the whole.

I was once talking to a historian whilst walking to a crofting site he wanted to show us. Land owners and jobs offered by industrialisation had cleared out entire villages, people replaced by sheep and stones carried away to other uses over time. He said when we look at human history, it is wrong to call any landscape wild anymore, because we have swept across all of it at some point in time. Abandoned would be a better word perhaps, forsaken, barren. But not wild.


All human communication and memory has natural gaps, inconsistencies, lack of clarify, drifting fog over details and facts. Digital image making felt alien to me for that reason, it seemed to be so easy to end up with mountains of material that was aiming to provide nothing but the most faithful and complete representation of reality at any time. It felt it was in the shadows and grain and impurities of an image that we got reminded we were looking deep into the visual storytelling. What we cannot see perfectly the mind imagines.In those places where the picture was incomplete our imagination could fill in the space.

On analogue film the latent image occurs when the negative has been exposed but not yet developed. The whole potential of the image lies dormant, waiting for the process to occur that fixes it permanently into a photograph. In some ways it is not an image yet, but a thought of an image and every step taken from the shutter release to the final print is shaping it. Those parts of the image where the technology fails, that dreamt image still persists. With a digital image, the most faithful rendition of the colours and light that existed in the place the image was taken occurs straight away on screen. In some ways the process of creating a visual narrative with a digital image could almost be the reverse of analogue, taking away the information until a space reappears.

These images of small adventures with romantic views, valleys, mountains, lighthouses and lakes, I experimented with - making some space for the viewer to insert their own thoughts. The grain got enlarged and effects, both analogue and digital got replicated and emphasised. I wanted to see where the line between representation and imagined can be, if it was possible for example to picture a lighthouse and a dream of a lighthouse all at once in the same image.