Sörnäistenlaituri 2020

28julAll Day30sepSörnäistenlaituri 2020

Event Details

We’re proud to show the work of the following artists:

Robin Alysha Clemens, Netherlands
Yo soy otro tú, tú eres otro yo

Mexico is a country that has embraced, accepted, challenged and fought various traditions and religions throughout its history: Starting with the indigenous rituals of the Mayans and Aztecs, then Catholicism imposed by the Spanish colonists to the various cultural influences from Africa and from Latin and North America. While the majority of Mexicans identify as Catholics, the influences of indigenous customs and animistic traditions prior to the colonization are still present today. Mexico is a country where different mystical and religious traditions blend and mutate against a backdrop of a complex political and social history. Yo soy otro tú, tú eres otro yo is a portrayal of the Mexican people and their faith. Photographer Robin Alysha Clemens travelled to Mexico to meet, interview and photograph over 60 believers: Curanderos (spiritual healers), shamans, Catholics, Buddhists, nuns, brujas (witches), supporters of Santa Muerte (Our Lady of Holy Death), spiritual midwives, videntes (seers), new age spiritualists, artists and indigenous people like the Nahua, Seri and Yaqui. Focusing on the diversity of contemporary spirituality in Mexico, this project explores the unseen and unveils the underlying similarities between these spiritual practices. Clemens looks beyond the altars, icons and religious symbols, to capture the people behind these beliefs.

Author Biography
Robin Alysha Clemens (1992, NL) is an Amsterdam based photographer whose work revolves around subcultures and exploring different worlds. Her work visualizes scenes where identity and a sense of place are omnipresent. As a storyteller she is inspired by cinema: She creates theatrical images where light, or more often the absence of light, is most important. She graduated with her Bachelor of Design at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague in 2016. The artist creates autonomous projects as well as works for clients, including The Correspondent, Het Parool and Natwerk. Her work has been exhibited during the Dutch Design Week, Photography Festival Naarden, Melkweg Expo and in TETEM, among others.


Tom Atwood, United States
Kings & Queens in Their Castles

Kings & Queens in Their Castles has been called one of the most ambitious photo series ever conducted of the LGBTQ experience in the USA. Over 15 years, Atwood photographed more than 350 subjects nationwide, including nearly 100 celebrities. With individuals from 30 states, Atwood offers a window into the lives and homes of some of America’s most intriguing and eccentric personalities, by photographing them at home in their trusted private spaces. Modern day tableaux vivants, the images portray whimsical, intimate moments of daily life that shift between the pictorial and the theatrical. Alongside creatives such as artists, fashion designers, writers, actors, directors, music makers and dancers, the series features business leaders, politicians, journalists, activists and religious leaders. It includes those who keep civilization running, such as farmers, beekeepers, doctors, chefs, bartenders and innkeepers. Some miscellaneous athletes, students, professors, drag queens and socialites. As well as a cartoonist, barista, poet, comedian, navy technician, paleontologist and transgender cop. Also showcased are urban bohemians, beatniks, mavericks and iconoclasts, many of whom blossomed in the 1960s and 1970s but seem to be slowly disappearing.

Author Biography
Tom Atwood’s recent work has focused on portraits of people at home. He has shot over 100 luminaries including Hilary Swank, Julie Newmar, Buzz Aldrin, Mark Wahlberg (Marky Mark), John Waters, Don Lemon, Tommy Tune, Meredith Baxter, Greg Louganis, Barney Frank, George Takei, Todd Oldham, Edward Albee, Ross Bleckner and Leslie Jordan. His second book, Kings & Queens in Their Castles, was recently published by Damiani. The book won multiple awards including First Place in the International Photography Awards (book category) as well as a Lucie Award (book-other category). Atwood won Photographer of the Year from London’s Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, as well as first place in Portraiture. He won first place in Portraiture in the Prix de la Photographie Paris. And he was included in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Triennial (Smithsonian Museum). Atwood’s work has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, George Eastman Museum, Annenberg Space for Photography, Griffin Museum of Photography, Center for Fine Art Photography and Museum of Photographic Arts, as well as at galleries nationwide, most recently ClampArt in NY, Steven Kasher Gallery in NY, Louis Stern Fine Arts in LA and Farmani Gallery in LA. Atwood has a Bachelors from Harvard University and a Masters from Cambridge University (England).


Berglind Hreiðarsdóttir, Iceland

“Mutual is a series of 77 images, each one a collage of two photographs. A part of the collection has been shown before, hung on a wall in clear album pages, each image in the familiar size 10cmx15cm. Each album page has pockets for 4 images. The whole collection would be around 92cmx192cm. My grandmother, Lulla, had a ritual of collecting small albums in which she only kept images of couples. She kept them on her coffee table and showed her guests, together they would gossip about the subjects. The guests would become a part of albums as well, as long as they came in pairs.”

Berglind owes these albums since Lulla, her grandmother passed away 5 years ago. Her goal is to present them as a photography series produced by Lulla, however, the artist admits that it never felt right towards the people in the pictures since the connection or trust they shared towards her grandmother would be broken. The project became clear after reading Hydrofeminism: Or, On Becoming a Body of Water by Astrida Neimanis. The author writes: 

As watery we experience ourselves less as isolated entities and more as oceanic eddies… the space between ourselves and others is at once as distant as the primeval sea, yet closer than our own skin – the traces of those same oceanic beginnings still cycling through us, pausing as this bodily thing we call “mine”.

The water in Berglind’s images translates to the world of emotions people share with their most intimate partners. Trust is a feeling and emotions are constantly flowing, therefore people we trust come and go. Tides change, partners split up, pass away, bond again and the cycle continues. In most cases covering people’s faces makes them not only anonymous but it can also strip them of age, the color of their skin, gender and sexuality. What is left is the body language of people who have chosen one another.

Author Biography
Berglind Hreiðarsdóttir (b.1994, Selfoss) is a visual artist from Iceland who is researching her own connections to the photograph. The artist completed her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Icelandic University of the Arts in 2018. Later that year she became one of the co-creators of studio B6, a space in Reykjavik that serves for events, exhibitions and working artists. Berglind is currently participating in a collaborative project with Rhona Ewe Clews through the Arts Territory Exchange. In early 2020 she moved to Malmö, Sweden from where she continues to pursue her artistic career.


Laura Liverani, Italy
Fukushima Surfers

The series Fukushima Surfers focuses on the surfing community in Fukushima, Japan. It consists of posed portraits on location, observational and landscape photographs. The photographer Liverani is interested in exploring how the surfing community is reshaping and reclaiming post-disaster Fukushima beaches. Before the tsunami and triple nuclear meltdown in 2011, and before being forever associated with radiation and disaster, the coast of Fukushima, meaning “Good Luck Valley”, was known for its beautiful beaches and high waves. It was a surfers’s paradise, ranking among the best surfing spots in Japan. After the trauma of the tsunami and nuclear meltdown, surfers had to regain their trust for the ocean that had killed their loved ones and destroyed their homes. It is said that the surfers were the first ones to return to the Fukushima beaches. Some went back to off-limits areas within weeks of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, despite potentially dangerous radiation levels. According to both government surveys and some local groups it is now officially safe to dive into the waters around the Fukushima Daiichi. The aforementioned groups include surfer groups, who independently monitor radiation at the beaches. The local surfers’ community is very active in trying to win back the trust of the general public into returning to the beach. Surfing is making a comeback in Fukushima.

Author Biography
Laura Liverani is an award winning documentary photographer and university lecturer based between Tokyo and Italy. Liverani’s work focuses on socio-anthropological issues and is published and exhibited internationally. Publications include The Guardian, Benetton’s Clothes for Humans, Marie Claire, Washington Post, New Scientist and Japan Times. Liverani’s projects were exhibited at the Singapore International Photo Festival, Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo and the Japan Foundation in Sydney. She has been teaching photography at universities in Italy and abroad, including Istituto Superiore Industrie Artistiche (Italy), Middlesex University in London, National College of Art in Dublin and Hochschule Düsseldorf. In 2017 she joined photojournalism agency Prospekt.



Silke Koch, Germany
Suspicious Objects

At New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, fingerprints and a computer-saved photograph were taken for the data stock of the U.S. immigration authorities upon arrival. A few days later, several bombs were detonated in London, followed by a worldwide chain of suicide bombings. In the New York City Subway, people and their luggage were being checked, because of a mere suspicion. In the streets there were objects, with no apparent owner nearby. But are they suspicious, too? Who or what makes these objects suspicious? A (photo) documentation or a conspiracy? 

Hans Magnus Enzensberger describes the apocalypse as a “catastrophe in the mind”, due to its overwhelming multitude of images. In her artistic work, Silke Koch deals with public space as a place of social representation and questions its suitability for the foundation of identity. “If you see something – say something” is a slogan that keeps New York’s citizens alert to the feared bombing of unattended suitcases, backpacks and other objects with the alarm level ‘orange’ (highest warning level). Tracking this warning, a photographic collection of suspicious objects/ sculptures was created according to guidelines listed on the internet. The photos depict (presumably) unattended objects and ‘document’ them, following a system of registration – the objects are given a number, description and location. The phenomenon of Covid-19 has parallels to the slogan, “If you see something – say something”. This is paradoxical, as viruses, unlike (supposedly) unattended objects, are not visible to the human eye. In case of both events, the location of situation-based trust is a public space. Thus, the public space becomes the venue of scenarios that call our trust into question in an unimaginable way. 

Author Biography
Silke Koch (b. 1964, Leipzig) studied Photography at HGB Leipzig from 1993-1998 after working in education, childcare, and as a basket weaver (1981-1989). In 2003 she finished her Master’s degree having Prof. Astrid Klein as her personal mentor. Since 2014 Koch teaches a photography class at Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig.




July 28 (Tuesday) - September 30 (Wednesday)



Sörnäistenlaituri 9


Helsinki Photo Festival

Helsinki Photo Festival ry is a cultural non-profit association created to attract interest and disseminate information on photography and visual media in Finland and abroad.

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