This book is a playful, tentative and imaginative exploration in - to the photographic archive as generator of multiple meanings and plentiful source of inspiration.
The bodies of work, Present (Thank You Helvi Ahonen) by Hertta Kiiski and Archival Studies / A Portrait of an Invisible Woman by Niina Vatanen, were created as a response to the Helvi Ahonen collection, housed at the Finnish Museum of Photography. The 5,000 negatives that make up the original collection tell a touching story about the amateur photographer Helvi Ahonens life, with all its joys and sorrows.
is a joint effort between the curator Mirjami Schuppert and the artists Hertta Kiiski and Niina Vatanen. While it is a culmination of an intensive research and collaboration project, the documentation of the exhibition Glimpses of the Unattainable (Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, spring 2014), it also is an independent work on its own. To accompany the photographs, a further interpretative layer is created by a fictional story written by Monika Fagerholm, an esteemed Finnish author.
»Photographs tell us nothing. And yet. Something.« You wrote it down. But. You dont know. - Monika Fagerholm
Hertta Kiiski is an artist working with photography, moving image and installation. She holds a B.A. in photography from Turku Arts Academy and an M.A. in time-based arts from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts.
Niina Vatanen is a visual artist who currently lives and works in Helsinki. She received her M.A. in photography from the University of Art and Design, Helsinki in 2008.