That black dot in the middle – it immediately came to me that that’s the black hole right there: that we don't know where we come from and where we go. That this is the point, the core.
(Tiina Surakka, director of the Pirkanmaan Hoitokoti nursing home on Ulla Jokisalo's work Time Machine.)
The exhibition Picturing Death asks whether photographs have a role to play in our encounter with death. Photographs will be presented by Pekka Elomaa, Arvi Hanste, Ulla Jokisalo, Ben Kaila, Andrei Lajunen, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Hans Pauli, Pentti Sammallahti and Seppo Saves.
As a visual artist, I have created works in partial cooperation with, for example, social and health care workers. Now, in my role as a curator, I wanted to incorporate the views of terminal-care professionals on the photographs and on death as part of the curatorial process and the final make-up of the exhibition.
Textual excerpts from comments made by people working at the Pirkanmaan Hoitokoti nursing home will be on show. There is a grey frame around the photographs that, in the comments, were mentioned as being images of calm, hopeful and ideal death.
The exhibition is a part of my thesis for the Master’s degree programme in Curating, Managing and Mediating Art at the Aalto University. Most of the photographs come from the collections of the Finnish Museum of Photography. In addition to art photographs, the exhibition will feature documentary images.
Text: Visual artist and curator Sanna Sarva