The Red Letter (and Other Confessions)

60 photographs, 29×23,5 cm each
chromogenic color print, wooden frame, glass

The Red Letter (and Other Confessions) is a photographic artwork that is composed of my personal letters. By covering the text with correction fluid, pens and felt tips, I wanted to make the letters unreadable and transform the text into images. From the hundred sheets that I worked with during the process, I photographed 60. The destroyed letters have been grouped according to their context and colour.

The hidden text forms a varying rhythm on the surface of the paper. In some letters the pen has left deep marks. Some letters have been opened and closed so many times that the folds of the paper have deepened and the corners have become all brittle. As writing is concealed, the marks and layers on the surface, emerged in the course of time and from handling the letters, increase in significance.

Niina Vatanen

“There are few events which don’t leave a written trace at least. At one time or another, almost everything passes through a sheet of paper, the page of a notebook, or of a diary, or some other chance support (a Metro ticket, the margin of a newspaper, a cigarette packet, the back of an envelope etc.) on which, at varying speeds and by a different technique depending on the place, time or mood, one or another of the miscellaneous element that comprise the everydayness of life comes to be inscribed.”
-Georges Perec