Do you know that feeling when you are travelling in a foreign country and you have read some information in your Lonely Planet guide and then, you look up at a high building and you see an advertisement that you don’ aspected? Well, this is what happened to me in Tallinn, Estonia and the adv of Fotografiska.
If you don’t know what Fotografiska is let me introduce you to the photography temple of images. Fotografiska is a contemporary photography museum, born in Stockholm, that is present also in Tallinn (how lucky I was?), New York in September and London (It supposed to be already open, but I have no news about it and this is absolutely sad).
Fotografiska in Tallinn is a 4 floors building, three dedicated to exhibitions and one to the restaurant on the top floor. The main exhibitions right now are Jimmy Nelson, Anja Niemi, Anna-Stima Treumund and Pentti Sammallahti. Even if I’m trying to know EVERYONE in photography, I missed all these names, but I love this feeling. I mean I was ready to be surprised, to see new images and to feel new emotions. Only when I don’t know something or someone I can “achieve” all these sensations.
I felt in love with Anja Niemi’s exhibition “in characters”. Anja shot a series of self-portraits where she is playing other characters. In these images, Anja represented something similar but different from herself. This exploration is not only a way to understand better herself, but also a way to express all her facets in different situations. In particular, I loved “Darlene and me” where we can see a “mirrored” story about a woman who is living a troubled relationship with herself. Each image looks like a still from an old movie like “Thelma and Louise” with a touch of Hitchcock and David Lynch, where everything looks like a perfect static aesthetic, perfect from outside, to hide the deep emotions that the character is living. In this vintage American dream, Darlene and Darlene are not properly communicated with each other, they are present and reflection of the same person.
Quoting Max Houghton: ” Darlene & Me”, Niemi creates ever more purposeful acts of doubling that animate the self’s internal strife. Over and Over, identical characters are pictured in conflict, as though oneself is wounded and the other is the aggressor. Freud theorizes that the double plays two roles in relation to our sense of self: first, as part of the child’s desire to be multiple, before the ego is established during primary development; and then as the superego, the critical voice that inhabits each of us, as function of self-observation. When the double returns in its second incarnation, it enforces a return to primative state, rendering the double a representation of every thought that is unacceptable to the ego”.
Thames & Hudson also published the monography of Anja Niemi and now this book complete my collection of female photographers that I admire (and love).
Here all the helpful information to see this exhibition: Fotografiska Telliskivi Creative City – Telliskivi 60a/8, Tallinn, Estonia. Sunday-Tuesday 09:00–23:00 Wednesday-Saturday 09:00–01:00 Regular ticket 14/10* EUR