MARTTI JÄMSÄFour series 22.11.2014 – 21.12.2014

Fron series Snap shot, 2014
Celenium toned silver gelatin print
37 x 39 cm

In his exhibition, photographer Martti Jämsä (born 1959) displays four series of black-and-white photographs that he shot using the traditional method of camera and film, developed and processed and finally also framed them himself. The series seem to communicate a certain nostalgia - a homecoming, a return to the past and to what went before - and reliving it.

The series Heart and bullet features passport photographs that Jämsä took of his fellow students in 1977. A small brown envelope, discovered amongst a hoard in the studio after all these years, contained a stack of negatives that were a collection of memories of people he knew before and flashbacks of the youth well gone. The series takes its title from a heart and bullet pendant worn by a girl in one of the photographs. The exhibition juxtaposes the passport photos with an image of a fellow student standing on train tracks taken in 1982, a classic image that turns into a metaphor for youth.

You press the button, we do the rest was the slogan coined by George Eastman when he launched the Kodak camera for the Christmas market in 1888. Jämsä's Snap shot series was inspired by these round images first launched in the 1800s. Anyone with no previous experience could take pictures quickly and easily. The portable camera, the size of a cigar box, was easy to take everywhere. Snapshots were an immediate success as people had an urge to capture the important people, places and events in their lives. Mass production of photos had started. The premise behind Jämsä's Snapshots series is that anything is suitable for photography and one subject is no more valuable than another one. It is the photographer's job to make the subject interesting. In Jämsä's photos, subjects, places and objects seem to have been caught in a spotlight; they are made visible.

Jämsä is remembered for his Summer series (1994-2004) that depicts summers he spent with his family. The Boys series features seven unpublished photos from the Summer series. These images show Jämsä's sons, now grown-up men, when they were young. Jämsä also exhibits some images taken this year that in a simple way depict the lakeside landscape around his summer house. All that remains is the memories.

Jämsä went to the woods near his house in Helsinki to shoot the Local forest series. The intimate images were taken in the shade of trees and along the fields, where simple, ordinary and small things appear beautiful.

Rauli Heino 

The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of Sydän ja Luoti / Heart and Bullet (Sémiosquare 2014) and Snap shot (Musta taide 4/2014) as well as the artist's book Lähimetsä (Local forest) (2014) and portfolio Pojat (Boys)(2014), which contains new images as well as the out-of-print book Kesä (Summer) (Musta taide 3/2003) and an essay by Antti Nylén.

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    Sydän ja luoti (Heart and Bullet), 1977/2014

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    Sydän ja luoti (Heart and Bullet), 1977/2014
    30 celenium toned silver gelatin prints
    edition 10

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    From series Sydän ja luoti, 1977/2014

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    Kari, 1977/2014
    silver gelatin print
    29,5 x 36,5 cm

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    Snap shot, 2014
    27 celenium toned silver gelatin prints

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    Snap shot, 2014

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    Snap shot, 2014

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    Pojat (Boys), 2003-2014
    7 celenium toned silver gelatim prints
    edition 5

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    Pojat (Boys), 2014

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    Pojat (Boys), 2003-2014

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    From series Pojat, 2014
    celenium toned silver gelatin print
    52 x 42 cm

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    Lähimetsä (Local forest), 2014
    21 celenium toned silver gelatin prints
    edition 10

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    Lähimetsä (Local forest), 2014
    21 celenium toned silver gelatin prints


    From series Lähimetsä, 2014


    From series Lähimetsä, 2014