Artists: Esko Männikkö & Pekka Turunen
Venue: Nordenhake, Berlin
Exhibition Title: PEMOHT
Date: April 27– June 22, 2013
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Nordenhake, Berlin
Galerie Nordenhake is pleased to present PEMOHT, an exhibition by Finnish photographers Esko Männikkö and Pekka Turunen. The title takes its’ name from a photographic essay realised by the two artists in conjunction over a seven year period between 1989 and 1995. This significant series has been reassembled by the artists and can now be seen in its’ almost integrality. This will also be the first time both artists will be shown together in a gallery context.
The title PEMOHT refers to the Cyrillic script for the Russian word Remont – a term which can be translated as reparation and stands as the euphemistic and tragic symbol for the collapse of a country and the subsequent failure of its’ institutions, devices and social structures. Within the immediate wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution the two photographers travelled to the Kola Peninsula, a remote area on the border of northern Finland. At the beginning of the Soviet period the peninsula was heavily industrialised and militarised, largely due to its’ strategic position and the discovery of the vast nickel and heavy metal deposits in the 1920s. As a result, the ecology of the area suffered major ecological damage, including contamination by military nuclear waste and nickel smelting.
Set against the bleak backdrop of this violated area, Männikkö and Turunen’s colour photographs set out to document the everyday reality of a disenfranchised community living on the margins during times of major transition. A haunting document of post-Soviet living conditions, PEMOHT captures this new reality with poetry, clarity and grit.
Esko Männikkö was born in 1959 in Pudasjärvi in the Northern part of Finland. He lives and works in Oulu. In 2014 he will have a survey exhibition at the Kunsthalle Helsinki. He was awarded the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in 2008 and has been showing at Galerie Nordenhake since 1995. Solo exhibitions include Millesgården, Lidingö, Kulturens hus, Luleå, Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall, Arendal (all 2009), Finsk-Norsk Kulturinstitutt, Oslo (2004), the Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg (1999), the Malmö Konsthall (1997), as well as Portikus, Frankfurt/Main (1996) amongst others. He has also taken part in numerous group exhibitions such as “Investigations of a Dog” at Magasin 3 and Deste Foundation (2010), as well as the Venice Biennial (2005), Liverpool Biennial (2004), “Contemporary Photography II: Anti-Memory,” Yokohama Museum of Art (2000), São Paulo Biennial (1998) and Johannesburg Biennial (1997).
Pekka Turunen was born in 1958 and currently lives in Kemiönsaari, Finland. He is currently working on five new artist’s books and has previously published “Against the Wall: Lypö, Tilkkanen, Mörsky and I”, 1995, “Collected Works”, 1999 and “Every Object Tells a Story”, 2004 amongst others. His photographs have also been shown widely, recent solo exhibitions include Villa Lande, Kemiö, Söderlångvik Museum, Dragsfjärd (2004), Finnland-Institut, Berlin (2003) and Musée de Normandie, Caen (2002). He took part in the 11th Sydney Biennale in 1999 and has participated in numerous group exhibitions since.