MARTTI JÄMSÄDance hall

Mäntsälä dance hall from series Gaze, 1980
silver gelatin print
40 x 50 cm
edition 5 + 2AP

In the early 1980s, the rock and disco scenes and Helsinki urban life in particular were topics of great interest to Finnish photographers. What makes Martti Jämsä's photographs from that time so unique is that he took them almost exclusively in the remotest dance venues and rock festivals in the Finnish countryside, where local youths partied on Saturday nights. He trained his lens not on the performers but on the audience; the teddy boys and the fans of the Finnish new wave. Young at just over twenty years old himself he felt that he and his cameras belonged - and were accepted.

The resulting series of black and white photographs and colour photo panoramas tells of the hair, fashion, language and behaviour of that time. The new exhibition contrasts them with large architectural photographs in colour taken last summer at the same, now empty, venues he once visited. These images are like stages that need people to bring out their essence. The exhibition shows how layers of meaning build up in old photographs and how, by placing them in new contexts, they can be created afresh.

Rauli Heino

 
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    edition 5 + 2AP

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    120 x 145 cm
    edition 5 + 2AP

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    silver gelatin print
    40 x 50 cm
    edition 5 + 2AP

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