Ongoing series of Polaroid Photographs, 8cm x 8cm each.
Nothingness Finland is an ongoing series of Polaroid images taken in different locations around Finland.
The name of the series reflects the concrete content of the images, but also the mental landscape that they represent. These images lead the spectator to the edge-lands and to the grey territory that rings most urban centres in Finland. Humdrum roadsides, deteriorating sports facilities and banal apartment blocks symbolise the real national landscape that surrounds us every day. However, the images also point out that these locations contain a lot of aesthetic potential. The nature of these non-sites has also been emphasised by framing all the people out. Thus there is only one protagonist left: the constructed environment.
In addition to being documents of concrete reality, these works are also images of Finnish mental landscape. Instead of grand monuments, the mindscape of a certain group is truly reflected in its everyday environment. These kinds of sites are not considered to be especially important so they are built in the ordinary way: as you would normally do. Whether this landscape in the end is desolate and dreary, practical and functioning or sweet and cosy, is up to the spectator.
The series consists of Polaroid photos. As a media, Polaroid instant film is fragile and intimate. Each image is unique as only one small print exists. Due to their small size Polaroids’ relationship with the spectator resembles miniature paintings: they are watched from a very short distance. I feel that this fits with the series’ general idea aptly. These works are also small glimpses of something that once was, very close to us. Maybe so close we didn’t realise it was there? They only thing that is now left of these moments is one small rapidly fading piece of paper – and a memory.
Check also my #nothingnessfinland hashtag on Instagram.