Out of Sight: Picturing the Unseen highlights new work by four emerging interdisciplinary artists who question and explore the fraught relationship between visibility and the construction of “Otherness.” The exhibition asks who is unseen, particularly in the West, and considers how difference is confronted through forms of visual representation. It approaches the unseen as a process—an “unseeing”—in which certain groups of people are systematically erased, ignored, removed, and reimagined according to the needs of a dominant culture.
In their photographic and video works, Cihad Caner, Róisín White, Sinead Kennedy, and Agata Wieczorek examine how visibility is continually negotiated through discourse, folklore, governmental policies, and the production and consumption of goods. They mine local histories, draw from theoretical texts, and engage with diverse communities in order to examine how marginalization operates and persists. They locate those who are made or imagined to exist “out of sight,” and reveal how their subjects’ bodies emerge as sites where visibility can no longer be denied or suppressed. In their work, we see that “unseeing” is not only a reductive act—one of erasure—but is also productive, leading to the creation of myths, narratives, alternative communities, different temporalities, and physical structures of confinement and survival.
The Finnish Museum of Photography is a member of the European Parallel project, which aims to promote the international mobility of artists and art as well as the professional skills of photographers and curators. The Parallel project is led by the Portuguese association Procur.arte and has 18 European photographic organizations as members. Each year, 30 new photographers and six new curators chosen through an open call process take part in a year-long mentoring program. During that year, the photographers create new works and the curators plan exhibitions in six European countries.
The Finnish Museum of Photography's Unseen exhibition was curated by Lexington Davis, who selected the four artists in the project.