ilona anhava: in the finnish language, the word tila is used loosely in defining locality, state or position. it can be translated into english as ‘space’, ‘place’, ‘area’, ‘room’ or ‘state of mind’, among other meanings. though sometimes synonymous with spatiality, it has a more finite meaning in connections such as lounge space, storage space or shelf space – and before the second world war the germans spoke of lebensraum – ‘living space’. in finnish, a farm is maatila, literally “land space”, a delimited area for the practice of agriculture. finland’s air space is an undemarcated area which the russians are allowed to violate with the blessing of our government.
an individual’s finances can be in a good state, pregnancy is known in finnish as the ‘blessed state’, and there are many different states of mind and intoxication, all described with the word tila. when a bank manager from east finland was indicted for fraud and he went on to shoot his wife and three daughters, the court noted that he had acted in ‘a state of forced honour’. the bank manager was acquitted, but a new one was put in his place.
in formal terms, pertti KERKARAINEN’s works are characterized by the multi-interpretative nature of space. he combines his photographs with local elements of colour that sometimes appear to conform to the space presented in the piece and are sometimes contrary to it. these features create tension and a slightly surreal atmosphere. the light in the photographs is beautiful and specific to these works.
pessi rautio: pertti KERKARAINEN’s photographs are intensely silent, if not well-nigh mute. his work is best interpreted separate from the history of photography, for KERKARAINEN primarily employs the pictorial devices of another medium: contemporary painting.
KERKARAINEN shrouds his photographs in strange veils, creating transition zones, or semi-transparent membranes, which he punctures with spy holes. lurking somewhere behind the veil – or what appears to be the surface of the ‘painting’ – is reality itself, a disconcertingly ordinary and characterless place.
sometimes when we daydream and stare hazily into the distance beyond the mundane objects within our immediate field of vision, it seems as though we suddenly grasp everything more lucidly and fully than ever before. Is this the moment that Kekarainen captures in his photographs?