A Room's Memory

text by Andréa Holzherr

Niina Vatanen’s photographs resemble notes from a personal diary. Not those notes written to describe exact events, but those written to describe certain feelings or moods. Unlike a diary, however, her discreet entries do not follow a specific timeline or sequence. Inscribed by light, they become traces of moments past, little stories that trigger memories.

Niina Vatanen finds the narrative for her subjects either in her own experiences and observations or in novels and movies. The images are little stages in which she combines her different inspirations in order to create “possible events” that happened in time and in memory. The images are both contained and open, each one telling its own little story. Depending on arrangements or sequencing, they may suggest a multitude of different narratives.

Details, lights, deserted spaces or empty rooms play an essential role in Niina Vatanen’s photographs. They confine the mood and the emotion that the artist wants to convey. The images are balanced between the boundaries of dream and reality, but also between memory and flux of time. “I try to depict emotions and moods that are recognizable, yet not precisely defined”, Niina Vatanen states.

Niina Vatanen’s photographs tell a tale of longing and fleeting memories. Her tales, intimate and fragile, give the viewer the impression that he or she is participating in something that is at once personal and universal.

  • Tear, 2010, C-print on aluminum, 34 x 42 cm
  • Room’s Memory, 2010, C-print on aluminum, 66 x 80 cm
  • Reverse View, 2010, C-print on aluminum, 66 x 54 cm
  • Untitled (Reader), 2010, C-print on aluminum, 66 x 54 cm
  • Reminiscence, 2010, C-print on aluminum, 80 x 66 cm
  • Untitled (Woman in Green Dress), 2010, C-print on aluminum, 105 x 127 cm
  • Hideout, 2010, C-print on aluminum, 105 x 127 cm
  • Dead End, 2011, C-print on aluminum, 52 x 65 cm
  • Waiting, 2010, C-print on aluminum, 45 x 56 cm
  • April, 2010, C-print on aluminum, 45 x 56 cm
  • Collector, 2010, C-print on aluminum, 45 x 56 cm
  • Roses (I’ll Write you soon), 2010, C-print on aluminum, 34 x 42 cm
  • Room 427, 2010, C-print on aluminum, 66 x 83 cm
  • Untitled (About Red), 2010, C-print on aluminum, 45 x 58 cm
  • Crinkle, 2010, C-print on aluminum, 34 x 42 cm