Miia Autio: Variation of White

Miia Autio
Variation of White

In Miia Autio's works, portraits of Tanzanian youths have been converted into negatives, in which the original colours become their opposites. Bright spots appear as shadows, and dark spots as light. There is a red dot in the middle of each image that enables you to restore the original colours.

Stare at the red dot for 30 seconds. Shift your gaze onto a blank wall surface and blink your eyes. Your brain produces an after-image in which the colours appear true to life. What was dark skin becomes pale.

Are dark and light skin opposites, like a positive and a negative, or like an image and an after-image? What types of comparisons or generalisations cross our minds when we look at someone who appears different?

The people in the portraits are representatives of the albino minority. The genetic change that causes albinism is more common in Tanzania than elsewhere in the world. Albinos often face discrimination and violence, which is based on prejudices and misbeliefs.

In her video work, Miss Albino (2016), Autio has filmed the first beauty competition for albino women to be held in Dar es Salaam, which was conceived with the aim of promoting understanding of, and support for, the minority.

The photographic artist Miia Autio (born 1986) has studied photography in Lahti, Finland, and Bielefeld, Germany, and her work has been shown at several international exhibitions.

The three works on view at museum's collection corner Kuvakulma, from the series Variation of White, are inkjet prints from 2016. They are part of the collection of the Finnish Museum of Photography and the Co-operative Tradeka.

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